5. Jerry West Hits 60 Foot Shot
In Game 3 of the NBA Finals, the Lakers were down two points to the New York Knicks with roughly three seconds remaining in the game. Jerry West received an inbounds pass and hurled a shot from 60 feet away and miraculously made the bucket and forced overtime. Unfortunately for the Lakers, they would go on to lose in overtime and the series to the Knicks. If the three-point line had been invented at the time, West would have won Game 3 of the finals and possibly the series after making such an impossible shot.
4. Dr. Jerry Buss Buys The Lakers
In 1979, Dr. Jerry Buss used his real estate empire and expertise to purchase the Los Angeles Lakers from Jack Kent Cooke. Although he was not the highest bidder, Buss used his real estate experience to convince Cooke to sell him the Lakers, the Los Angeles Kings, and the Forum. The Lakers could not have asked for a better owner, under Dr. Jerry Buss the Lakers have become one of the most successful franchises in all of sports. The Lakers have won 10 championships since he bought the team and they have always been one of the premiere teams in the NBA.
3. Lakers win 33 Games In A Row
During the 1971-1972 season, the Lakers won 33 consecutive games; they did not lose a game for over two months. With Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, and Gail Goodrich leading the way, the Lakers managed to set a record that still has not been broken to this day. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks ended the streak at 33 on January 9th, 1972. The Lakers finished the season with a 69-13 record, the second greatest record of all time.
2. Lakers Draft Magic Johnson
On June 25, 1979, the NBA Draft was being held in New York City and the Los Angeles Lakers had the first overall pick. The Lakers acquired the pick because they owned New Orleans’ first round pick and they finished last in the conference. The Chicago Bulls finished last in their conference and the two teams had to have a coin flip to determine who would receive the first pick of the draft. Luck was on the Lakers side and they won the coin flip and they selected Earvin “Magic” Johnson with the number one pick and the rest is history.
1. Lakers Win 1972 NBA Championship
The Lakers were hungry for a championship after reaching the NBA Finals, but always coming up short in the end. With a core of Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, and Gail Goodrich the Lakers were finally able to bring a title to Los Angeles, the franchise’s first since moving from Minneapolis. With Chamberlain accepting more of a defensive anchor, the Lakers had one of the greatest seasons in NBA history, and it all culminated with a championship after beating the New York Knicks in five games. West and Goodrich combined to form an amazing scoring backcourt, nearly averaging 50 points per game. The Lakers were unstoppable, and they established a winning mentality that would lead to more NBA championships for the Los Angeles Lakers.