ESPN is a U. S.-based sports television channel owned by ESPN Inc. a joint venture owned by The Walt Disney Company and Hearst Communications. The company was founded in 1979 by Bill Rasmussen along with his son Scott Ed Egan. ESPN broadcasts from studio facilities located in Bristol, Connecticut; the network operates offices in Miami, New York City, Seattle and Los Angeles. James Pitaro serves as chairman of ESPN, a position he has held since March 5, 2018 due to the resignation of John Skipper on December 18, 2017. While ESPN is one of the most successful sports networks, there has been much criticism of ESPN, which includes accusations of biased coverage, conflict of interest, controversies with individual broadcasters and analysts; as of January 2016, ESPN is available to 91,405,000 paid television households in the United States. Nielsen has reported a much lower number in 2017, below 90,000,000 subscribers, losing more than 10,000 a day. In addition to the flagship channel and its seven related channels in the United States, ESPN broadcasts in more than 200 countries, operating regional channels in Australia, Latin America and the United Kingdom, owning a 20% interest in The Sports Network as well as its five sister networks in Canada.
In 2011, ESPN's history and rise was chronicled in Those Guys Have All the Fun, a nonfiction book written by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales and published by Little and Company. Bill Rasmussen conceived the concept of ESPN in late May 1978, after he was fired from his job with the World Hockey Association's New England Whalers. One of the first steps in Bill and his son Scott's process was finding land to build the channel's broadcasting facilities; the Rasmussens first rented office space in Plainville, Connecticut. However, the plan to base ESPN there was put on hold because a local ordinance prohibiting buildings from bearing rooftop satellite dishes. Available land area was found in Bristol, with funding to buy the property provided by Getty Oil, which purchased 85% of the company from Bill Rasmussen on February 22, 1979, in an attempt to diversify the company's holdings; this helped the credibility of the fledgling company, however there were still many doubters to the viability of their sports channel concept.
Another event that helped build ESPN's credibility was securing an advertising agreement with Anheuser-Busch in the spring of 1979. Taped in front of a small live audience inside the Bristol studios, it was broadcast to 1.4 million cable subscribers throughout the United States. ESPN's next big break came when the channel acquired the rights to broadcast coverage of the early rounds of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, it first aired the NCAA tournament in March 1980, creating the modern day television event known as "March Madness." The channel's tournament coverage launched the broadcasting career of Dick Vitale, who at the time he joined ESPN, had just been fired as head coach of the Detroit Pistons. In April of that year, ESPN created another made-for-TV spectacle, when it began televising the NFL Draft, it provided complete coverage of the event that allowed rookie players from the college ranks to begin their professional careers in front of a national television audience in ways they were not able to previously.
The next major stepping stone for ESPN came over the course of a couple of months in 1984. During this time period, the American Broadcasting Company purchased 100% of ESPN from the Rasmussens and Getty Oil. Under Getty ownership, the channel was unable to compete for the television rights to major sports events contracts as its majority corporate parent would not provide the funding, leading ESPN to lose out for broadcast deals with the National Hockey League and NCAA Division I college football. For years, the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball refused to consider cable as a means of broadcasting some of their games. However, with the backing of ABC, ESPN's ability to compete for major sports contracts increased, gave it credibility within the sports broadcasting industry. In 1984, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the NCAA could no longer monopolize the rights to negotiate the contracts for college football games, allowing each individual school to negotiate broadcast deals of their choice.
ESPN took full advantage and began to broadcast a large number of NCAA football games, creating an opportunity for fans to be able to view multiple games each weekend, the same deal that the NCAA had negotiated with TBS. ESPN's breakthrough moment occurred in 1987, when it secured a contract with the NFL to broadcast eight games during that year's regular season – all of which aired on Sunday nights, marking the first broadcasts of Sunday NFL primetime games. ESPN's Sunday Night Football games would become the highest-rated NFL telecasts for the next 17 years; the channel's decision to broadcast NFL games on Sunday evenings resulted in a decline in viewership for the daytime games shown on the major broadcast networks, marking the first time that ESPN had been a legitimate competitor to NBC and CBS, which had long dominated the sports television market. In 19
The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. The Rockets compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division; the team plays its home games at the Toyota Center, located in downtown Houston. The Rockets have won four Western Conference titles; the team was established as the San Diego Rockets, an expansion team based in San Diego, in 1967. In 1971, the Rockets moved to Houston; the Rockets won only 15 games in their debut season as a franchise in 1967. In the 1968 NBA draft, the Rockets, picking first overall, selected power forward Elvin Hayes, who would lead the team to its first playoff appearance in his rookie season; the Rockets did not finish a season with a winning record until the 1976–77 season, when they traded for center Moses Malone. Malone went on to win the NBA Most Valuable Player award twice and led Houston to the conference finals in his first year with the team, he led the Rockets to the NBA Finals in 1981 where they were defeated in six games by the Boston Celtics, led by Larry Bird and future Rockets coach Kevin McHale.
In the 1984 NBA draft, the Rockets drafted center Hakeem Olajuwon, who would be paired with 7 feet 4 inches Ralph Sampson, forming one of the tallest front courts in the NBA. Nicknamed the "Twin Towers", they led the team to the 1986 NBA Finals—the second NBA Finals appearance in franchise history—where Houston was again defeated by the Boston Celtics; the Rockets continued to reach the playoffs throughout the 1980s, but failed to advance past the first round for several years following a second-round defeat to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1987. Rudy Tomjanovich took over as head coach midway through the 1991–92 season, ushering in the most successful period in franchise history; the Olajuwon-led Rockets went to the 1994 NBA Finals and won the franchise's first championship against Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks. The following season, reinforced by another All-Star, Clyde Drexler, the Rockets repeated as champions with a four-game sweep of the Orlando Magic, who were led by a young Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway.
Houston, seeded sixth in the Western Conference during the 1995 playoffs, became the lowest-seeded team in NBA history to win the title. The Rockets acquired all-star forward Charles Barkley in 1996, but the presence of three of the NBA's 50 greatest players of all-time was not enough to propel Houston past the Western Conference Finals; each one of the aging trio had left the team by 2001, the Rockets of the early 2000s, led by superstars Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, followed the trend of consistent regular season respectability followed by playoff underachievement as both players struggled with injuries. After Yao's early retirement in 2011, the Rockets entered a period of rebuilding dismantling and retooling their roster; the acquisition of franchise player James Harden in 2012 has launched the Rockets back into championship contention in the mid-2010s. Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon and James Harden have been named the NBA's Most Valuable Player while playing for the Rockets, for a total of four MVP awards.
The Rockets, under general manager Daryl Morey, are notable for popularizing the use of advanced statistical analytics in player acquisitions and style of play. The Rockets were founded in 1967 in San Diego by Robert Breitbard, who paid an entry fee of US $1.75 million to join the NBA as an expansion team for the 1967–68 season. The NBA wanted to add more teams in the Western United States, chose San Diego based on the city's strong economic and population growth, along with the local success of an ice hockey team owned by Breitbard, the San Diego Gulls; the resulting contest to name the franchise chose the name "Rockets", which paid homage to San Diego's theme of "a city in motion" and the local arm of General Dynamics developing the Atlas missile and booster rocket program. Breitbard brought in Jack McMahon coach of the Cincinnati Royals, to serve as the Rockets' coach and general manager; the team, that would join the league along with the Seattle SuperSonics built its roster with both veteran players at an expansion draft, college players from the 1967 NBA draft, where San Diego's first draft pick was Pat Riley.
The Rockets lost 67 games in their inaugural season, an NBA record for losses in a season at the time. In 1968, after the Rockets won a coin toss against the Baltimore Bullets to determine who would have the first overall pick in the 1968 NBA draft, they selected Elvin Hayes from the University of Houston. Hayes improved the Rockets' record to 37 wins and 45 losses, enough for the franchise's first playoff appearance in 1969, but the Rockets lost in the semi-finals of the Western Division to the Atlanta Hawks, four games to two. Despite the additions of Calvin Murphy and Rudy Tomjanovich and the management of Hall of Fame coach Alex Hannum, the Rockets tallied a 67–97 record in the following two seasons and did not make the playoffs in either season; because of the low performance and attendance, Breitbard looked to sell the team, in 1971, Texas Sports Investments bought the franchise for $5.6 million, moved the team to Houston. The franchise became the first NBA team in Texas, the nickname "Rockets" took on greater relevance after the move, given Houston's long connection to the space industry.
Before the start of the 1971–72 season, Hannum left for the Denver Rockets of the American Basketball Association – renamed Denver Nuggets, who joined the NBA in 1976 – and Tex Winter was hired in his place. However, Winter's clashes with Hayes, due to a system that contrasted with the offensive style
Craig Robinson (basketball)
Craig Malcolm Robinson is an American college basketball coach, basketball executive, broadcaster. He is a former head men's basketball coach at Oregon State Brown University, he was a star forward as a player at Princeton University in the early 1980s and a bond trader during the 1990s. He is the vice president of player and organizational development for the New York Knicks. Robinson is the older brother of former U. S. First Lady Michelle Obama and the brother-in-law of former U. S. President Barack Obama. Robinson has four children. Craig Malcolm Robinson was born on April 21, 1962, in DeYoung, Illinois, to Fraser Robinson, a city water plant employee and Democratic precinct captain, Marian Robinson, a secretary at Spiegel's catalog store. Robinson grew up in Chicago's South Shore with Michelle, he skipped the second grade in school. He attended the parochial Mount Carmel High School; when Robinson was considering what college to go to, his father insisted that he attend Princeton University for its Ivy League academics, rather than either the University of Washington or Purdue University, which offered scholarships and major basketball conference play.
Robinson, who stands 6 feet 6 inches and played forward, was a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year at Princeton University, in 1981–1982 and 1982–1983, leading the league in field goal percentage both years. He is the fourth highest scorer in school history, he graduated in 1983 with a B. A. in Sociology. His senior thesis was on social stratification in prisons. Robinson and former teammate John W. Rogers, Jr. were among those invited to practice with Michael Jordan as he prepared for his comeback. Robinson was drafted in the fourth round of the 1983 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, but never played in the league, he played professionally for the Manchester Giants in the British Basketball League for two seasons and returned to the U. S. in 1988 to become an assistant coach at the Illinois Institute of Technology, a position he held until 1990. Robinson left basketball on the advice of his Princeton coach Pete Carril and pursued a business degree, earning an M. B. A. in Finance from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business in 1992.
Robinson worked in the 1990s as a bond trader. He became a vice president at Continental Bank and worked there from 1990 to 1992, he was a vice president, from 1992 to 1999, at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. He was a managing director and partner at Loop Capital Markets, a minority-owned boutique investment banking firm; when Robinson's sister, began dating her law firm colleague, Barack Obama, who played basketball recreationally, she asked her brother to play with Obama and give her a character assessment so that she would know whether she could become serious with him. He gave an encouraging report to her; as he related, "When I played basketball with Barack, he was confident, which means he had good self-esteem without being cocky. He was a team player – he wasn't a pig, he passed when he was supposed to pass, he cut when he was supposed to cut. To me, that speaks to a lack of selfishness, he had natural leadership ability, because he didn't just pass me the ball because he was dating my sister.
Whenever a player gets tired, he reverts to the player he is. That's, and we played for hours. That's how I could tell." The story of this pick-up game and of a "test" being passed became a key part of the Obama narrative. While working in the business world, Robinson kept a hand in basketball by doing area scouting for Princeton and coaching one year at University of Chicago High School, he earned a high six-figure income in his business career, but he decided the financial world had lost its appeal and found his luxury lifestyle was not enough to save his marriage to Janis Robinson. By 2000, Robinson was going through a divorce. Robinson has two children from his first marriage, a son Avery and a daughter Leslie. Robinson remarried to his wife Kelly, they became parents of sons Austin in 2010 and Aaron in 2012. His daughter Leslie joined the Princeton Tigers women's basketball team as a forward. Robinson returned to coaching in 1999, he was an assistant for six years to Bill Carmody at Northwestern University, where he was an effective recruiter.
He became a head coach at Brown University in 2006, where he ran a variation of the Princeton offense which he learned from Pete Carril during his years at Princeton. In improving a mid-level basketball program, he stressed work ethic, used tough love, tried to improve the players' vocabulary. A fifth-place placing with a strong finish to the season garnered Robinson the Ivy League men's basketball Coach of the Year for the 2006–2007 season by Basketball-U.com. The following year, the Brown Bears finished second in the league, their 19 wins for the season was a team record. Robinson assisted his brother-in-law throughout the latter's 2008 presidential campaign, including campaigning for him during the Iowa caucuses and campaigning and giving speeches for him in a number of other states, sometimes combining campaigning with recruiting visits, he introduced his sister Michelle before her speech on August 25, 2008, the first night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, which gave him his largest national exposure.
He was on stage following Obama's victory speech in Grant Park after his election as president on November 4, 2008. On April 7, 2008, Robinson was hired as the Oregon State Beavers' head basketball coach following the team's winless Pacific-10 Conference
The Atlanta Hawks are an American professional basketball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Hawks compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Southeast Division; the team plays its home games at State Farm Arena. The team's origins can be traced to the establishment of the Buffalo Bisons in 1946 in Buffalo, New York, a member of the National Basketball League owned by Ben Kerner and Leo Ferris. After 38 days in Buffalo, the team moved to Moline, where they were renamed the Tri-Cities Blackhawks. In 1949, they joined the NBA as part of the merger between the NBL and the Basketball Association of America, had Red Auerbach as coach. In 1951, Kerner moved the team to Milwaukee. Kerner and the team moved again in 1955 to St. Louis, where they won their only NBA Championship in 1958 and qualified to play in the NBA Finals in 1957, 1960 and 1961; the Hawks played the Boston Celtics in all four of their trips to the NBA Finals. The St. Louis Hawks moved to Atlanta in 1968, when Kerner sold the franchise to Thomas Cousins and former Georgia Governor Carl Sanders.
The Hawks own the second-longest drought of not winning an NBA championship at 60 seasons. The franchise's lone NBA championship, as well as all four NBA Finals appearances, occurred when the team was based in St. Louis. Meanwhile, they went 48 years without advancing past the second round of the playoffs in any format, until breaking through in 2015. However, the Hawks are one of only four NBA teams that have qualified to play in the NBA playoffs in 10 consecutive seasons in the 21st century, they achieved this feat between 2008 and 2017. The other teams that have made it to at least 10 consecutive playoff appearances in the 21st century are the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks; the origins of the Atlanta Hawks can be traced to the Buffalo Bisons franchise, founded in 1946. The Bisons were a member of the National Basketball League, played their games at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium; the club was coached by Nat Hickey. Their first game – a 50–39 victory over the Syracuse Nationals – was played on November 8, 1946.
On the team was William "Pop" Gates, along with William "Dolly" King, was one of the first two African-American players in the NBL. The team, which needed to draw 3,600 fans per game to break struggled to draw 1,000 fans per game to the Auditorium; the franchise lasted only 38 days in Buffalo when, on December 25, 1946, Leo Ferris, the team's general manager, announced that the team would be moving to Moline, which at that time was part of an area known as the "Tri-Cities": Moline, Rock Island and Davenport, Iowa. Upon relocation to Moline, the team was renamed the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, played their home games at Wharton Field House, a 6,000-seat arena in Moline; the team featured guard/forward and coach Deanglo King, was owned by Leo Ferris and Ben Kerner. Pop Gates remained on the Blackhawks roster, finished second on the team in scoring behind future 1948 NBL MVP Don Otten. A Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame member, Gates helped to integrate the league and become the first African-American coach in a major sports league, coaching Dayton in 1948.
In 1949 the Blackhawks became one of the National Basketball Association's 17 original teams after a merger of the 12-year-old NBL and the three-year-old Basketball Association of America. They reached the playoffs in the NBA's inaugural year under the leadership of coach Red Auerbach; the following season, they drafted three-time All-American Bob Cousy, but they were unable to reach a deal and traded him to the Chicago Stags. The Blackhawks missed the playoffs. By it was obvious that the Tri-Cities area was too small to support an NBA team. After the season, the franchise relocated to Milwaukee and became the Milwaukee Hawks. In 1954, the Hawks drafted Bob Pettit, a future NBA MVP. Despite this, the Hawks were one of the league's worst teams, in 1955 the Hawks moved, this time to St. Louis, Milwaukee's rival in the beer industry, became the St. Louis Hawks. In 1956, the St. Louis Hawks drafted legendary Bill Russell in the first round, they traded Russell to the Boston Celtics for Cliff Hagan and Ed Macauley, both Hall of Fame members.
In 1957, the Hawks finished four games under.500. However, the Western Division was weak that year, they won the division title and a bye to the division finals after defeating the Minneapolis Lakers and Fort Wayne Pistons in one-game tiebreakers. They defeated the Lakers in the division finals to advance to the Finals, losing to the Boston Celtics in a double-overtime thriller in game seven. In 1958, after tallying their first winning record, they again advanced to the Finals, where they avenged their defeat against the Celtics from the previous year, winning the series 4–2 and giving the Hawks their first and only NBA Championship. Bob Pettit scored 50 points in the final game of the series; the Hawks remained one of the NBA's premier teams for the next decade. In 1960, under coach Ed Macauley, the team advanced to the Finals, but lost to the Celtics in another game seven thriller; the following year, with the acquisition of rookie Lenny Wilkens, the Hawks repeated their success, but met the Celtics in the Finals again and lost in five games.
They would remain contenders for most of the 1960s, advancing deep into the playoffs a
Glenn Anton "Doc" Rivers is an American basketball coach and former player, the head coach for the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association. As an NBA point guard, Rivers was known for his defense. Rivers was a McDonald's All-American for Proviso East High School in the Chicago metropolitan area. Rivers represented the United States with the national team in the 1982 FIBA World Championship, in which he led the team to the silver medal, despite missing the last shot in the final, which could have given the title to his team. After his third season at Marquette University, Rivers was drafted in the second round of the 1983 NBA draft by the Atlanta Hawks, he graduated from Marquette. He spent the next seven seasons as a starter in Atlanta, assisting star Dominique Wilkins as the team found great regular-season success, he averaged 10.0 assists per game. Rivers spent one year as a starter for the Los Angeles Clippers and two more for the New York Knicks, before finishing his career as a player for the San Antonio Spurs from 1994 to 1996.
Rivers began his coaching career with the Orlando Magic in 1999, where he coached for more than four NBA seasons. Rivers won the Coach of the Year award in 2000 after his first year with the Magic; that season, he led the team, picked to finish last in the league to a near playoff berth. During the Magic's free agency spending spree in the summer of 2000, Doc Rivers had the opportunity to assemble the first "Big Three" team in the NBA, as the Magic were courting free agent Tim Duncan, who came close to signing with the Magic and teaming up with Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady. However, Tim Duncan re-signed with the San Antonio Spurs due to Rivers' strict policy of family members not being allowed to travel in the team's plane, he made the post-season in his next three years as coach, but was fired in 2003 after a 1–10 start to the season. After spending a year working as a commentator for the NBA on ABC, he was hired by the Boston Celtics as their head coach in 2004. During his first years with the Celtics, he was criticized by many in the media for his coaching style, most vociferously by Bill Simmons, who in 2006 publicly called for Rivers to be fired in his columns.
As a result of the Celtics' 109–93 victory over the New York Knicks on January 21, 2008, Rivers, as the coach of the team with the best winning percentage in the Eastern Conference, earned the honor to coach the East for the 2008 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans. On June 17, 2008, Rivers won his first NBA Championship as a head coach after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in six games; the Celtics needed an NBA record 26 post-season games to win it. Rivers played for the team that held the previous record for most games played in a single post-season: the 1994 New York Knicks played 25 post-season games. Rivers led the Celtics to the 2010 NBA Finals where they once again faced the Los Angeles Lakers and lost the series in seven games. After deliberating between staying on the job and leaving the job and returning to spend more time with his family in Orlando, Rivers decided that he would honor the last year of his contract and return for the 2010–11 season. On May 13, 2011, after months of rumors that he would retire, ESPN reported that the Celtics and Rivers agreed upon a 5-year contract extension worth $35 million.
On February 6, 2013, Rivers notched his 400th win with the Celtics in a 99–95 victory over the Toronto Raptors. On June 25, 2013, the Los Angeles Clippers acquired Rivers from the Celtics for an unprotected 2015 NBA first round draft pick, he became the senior vice president of basketball operations on the team. In his first season as their head coach, Rivers led the Clippers to a franchise-record 57 wins, garnering the 3rd seed in the Western conference; the 2014 NBA playoffs first round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors was marred when TMZ released an audiotape containing racially insensitive remarks made by the then-Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Though there was a possibility of the Clippers boycotting the series, they would play on, holding a silent protest by leaving their shooting jerseys at center court and obscuring the Clippers logo on their warm-up shirts. Rivers himself stated that he would not return to the Clippers if Sterling remained as owner the following season.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver responded to the controversy by banning Sterling for life and compelling him to sell the team. After the team was sold to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion on August 12, 2014, Rivers remained with the Clippers. On June 16, 2014, the Clippers promoted Rivers to president of basketball operations in conjunction with his continuing head coaching duties. Although Dave Wohl was hired as general manager, Rivers had the final say in basketball matters. On August 27, 2014, he signed a new five-year contract with the Clippers. On January 16, 2015, Rivers became the first NBA coach to coach his own son, Austin Rivers until June 26, 2018, when he was traded to the Washington Wizards for Marcin Gortat. On August 4, 2017, Rivers gave up his post as president of basketball operations. However, he continued to split responsibility for basketball matters with executive vice president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank. On May 23, 2018, Rivers and the Clippers agreed to a contract extension.
Rivers is the nephew of former NBA player Jim Brewer. He lives in Orlando, with his wife Kristen, his oldest son Jeremiah played basketball at Georgetown University and Indiana University, has played in the NBA D-League for the Maine Red Claws. His daughter Callie played volleyball for the University of F
Power forward (basketball)
The power forward known as the four, is one of the five positions in a regulation basketball game. It has been referred to as the "post" position. Power forwards play a role similar to that of center, they play offensively with their backs towards the basket and position themselves defensively under the basket in a zone defense or against the opposing power forward in man-to-man defense. The power forward position entails a variety of responsibilities, one of, rebounding. Many power forwards are noted for their mid-range jump-shot, several players have become accurate from 12 to 18 feet. Earlier, these skills were more exhibited in the European style of play; some power forwards, known as stretch fours, have since extended their shooting range to three-point field goals. In the NBA, power forwards range from 6' 8" to 7' 0" while in the WNBA, power forwards are between 6' 1" and 6' 4". Despite the averages, a variety of players fit "tweener" roles which finds them in the small forward or center position depending on matchups and coaching decisions.
Some power forwards play the center position and have the skills, but lack the height, associated with that position
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Lakers compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Western Conference in the Pacific Division; the Lakers play their home games at Staples Center, an arena shared with the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association, the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League. The Lakers are one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA, have won 16 NBA championships, the second-most behind the Boston Celtics; the franchise began with the 1947 purchase of a disbanded team, the Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League. The new team began calling themselves the Minneapolis Lakers. A member of the NBL, the Lakers won the 1948 NBL championship before joining the rival Basketball Association of America, where they would win five of the next six championships, led by star George Mikan. After struggling financially in the late 1950s following Mikan's retirement, they relocated to Los Angeles before the 1960–61 season.
Led by Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor and Jerry West, Los Angeles made the NBA Finals six times in the 1960s, but lost each series to the Celtics, beginning their long and storied rivalry. In 1968, the Lakers acquired four-time NBA Most Valuable Player Wilt Chamberlain, won their sixth NBA title—and first in Los Angeles—in 1972, led by new head coach Bill Sharman. After the retirement of West and Chamberlain, the team acquired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won multiple MVP awards, but was unable to make the Finals in the late 1970s; the 1980s Lakers were nicknamed "Showtime" due to their fast break-offense led by Magic Johnson. The team won five championships in a nine-year span, contained Hall of Famers Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, was led by Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley. After Abdul-Jabbar and Johnson retired, the team struggled in the early 1990s, before acquiring Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant in 1996. With the duo, who were led by another Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson, the team won three consecutive titles between 2000 to 2002, securing the franchise its second "three-peat".
The Lakers won two more championships in 2009 and 2010, but failed to regain their former glory in the following decade. The Lakers hold the record for NBA's longest winning streak, 33 straight games, set during the 1971–72 season. 21 Hall of Famers have played for Los Angeles. Four Lakers—Abdul-Jabbar, Johnson, O'Neal, Bryant—have won the NBA MVP Award for a total of eight awards; the Lakers' franchise began in 1947 when Ben Berger and Morris Chalfen of Minnesota purchased the disbanded Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League 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 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; the Lakers had a solid roster, which featured forward Jim Pollard, playmaker Herm Schaefer, center George Mikan, who became the most dominant player in the NBL.
In their first season, they led the league with a 43–17 record winning the NBL Championship that season. In 1948, the Lakers moved from the NBL to the Basketball Association of America, Mikan's 28.3 point per game scoring average set a BAA record. In the 1949 BAA Finals they won the championship; the following season, the team improved to 51–17, repeating as champions. In the 1950–51 season, Mikan won his third straight scoring title at 28.4 ppg and the Lakers went 44–24 to win their second straight division title. One of those games, a 19–18 loss against the Fort Wayne Pistons, became infamous as the lowest scoring game in NBA history. In the playoffs, they defeated the Indianapolis Olympians in three games but lost to the Rochester Royals in the next round. During the 1951 -- 52 season, the Lakers won 40 games, they faced the New York Knicks in the NBA Finals. In the 1952–53 season, Mikan led the NBA in rebounding, averaging 14.4 rebounds per game, was named MVP of the 1953 NBA All-Star Game.
After a 48–22 regular season, the Lakers defeated the Fort Wayne Pistons in the Western playoffs to advance to the NBA Finals. They defeated the New York Knicks to win their second straight championship. Though Lakers star George Mikan suffered from knee problems throughout the 1953–54 season, he was still able to average 18 ppg. Clyde Lovellette, drafted in 1952, helped the team win the Western Division; the team won its third straight championship in the 1950s and fifth in six seasons when it defeated the Syracuse Nationals in seven games. Following Mikan's retirement in the 1954 off-season, the Lakers struggled but still managed to win 40 games. Although they defeated the Rochester Royals in the first round of the playoffs, they were defeated by the Fort Wayne Pistons in the semifinals. Although they had losing records the next two seasons, they made the playoffs each year. Mikan came back for the last half of the 1955–56 season, but struggled and retired for good after the season. Led by Lovellette's 20.6 points and 13.5 rebounds, they advanced to the Conference Finals in 1956–57.
The Lakers had one of the worst seasons in team history in 1957–58 when they won a league-low 19 games. They had hired Mikan, the team's general manager for the previous two seasons, as head coach to replace Kundla. Mikan was fired in January when