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LA Lakers Team history

The Lakers’ franchise began in 1947 when Ben Berger and Morris Chalfen of Minnesota purchased the recently disbanded Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League (NBL) for $15,000 from Gems owner Maury Winston. Minneapolis sportswriter Sid Hartman played a key behind the scenes role in helping put together the deal and later the team. Inspired by Minnesota’s nickname, “Land of 10,000 Lakes”, the team christened themselves the Lakers. Hartman helped them hire John Kundla from College of St. Thomas, to be their first head coach, by meeting with him and selling him on the team.

Home arenas

The Forum (left), served as the Lakers’ home arena from 1967 to 1999, before they moved to their present home, the Staples Center (right).

The Lakers play their home games at Staples Center, located at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles. The arena opened in fall 1999, and seats up to 18,997 for Lakers games. Owned and operated by AEG and L.A. Arena Company, the arena is also home to the Los Angeles Clippers, the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, and the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. Before moving to Staples Center, for 32 seasons (1967–1999), the Lakers played their home games at The Forum in Inglewood, California, located approximately 10 miles southwest of the team’s current home. During the 1999 preseason, the Lakers played their home games at the Forum before officially moving into Staples Center, and once again hosted a preseason game versus the Golden State Warriors on October 9, 2009, this time to commemorate the team’s 50th anniversary season in Los Angeles.

In the first seven years in Los Angeles, the team played their home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, south of Downtown Los Angeles. While the team played in Minneapolis, the team played their home games at the Minneapolis Auditorium from 1947 to 1960.

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