The Los Angeles Lakers are NBA Champions for the 17th time.
The Los Angeles Lakers won their 17th NBA title Sunday night with a dominant Game 6 victory over the Miami Heat. Here is a chronological summary of their unparalleled success as measured by numbers:
5: The number of championships the Minneapolis Lakers won in a 6-year period from 1949-54. They were led by center George Mikan, the league’s first superstar, along with forwards Jim Pollard and Vern Mikkelsen and point guard Slater Martin and were coached by John Kundla.
7: The number of NBA Finals appearances by the LA Lakers in a 9-year period, 1962-70. The team featured the dynamic duo of Elgin Baylor and Jerry West and were joined by Wilt Chamberlain for the final three years.
But they could never quite capture the title, losing six times to the Celtics and once to the Knicks, although the series went a full 7 games four different times. They were coached first by Fred Schaus, then by Butch van Breda Kolff.
33: The number of consecutive games the team won in 1971-72, which is still the longest winning streak in any of the Big Four North American professional team sports. That team, led by West, Chamberlain and Gail Goodrich, and coached by Bill Sharman, went on to capture LA’s first NBA championship.
18: The number of years between Minneapolis’ last title and LA’s first, which represents the largest gap in Lakers history.
9: The number of Finals appearances by the Lakers during the Showtime Era, an 11-year period from 1980-90. That team won 5 titles, including two over the Celtics. Featured players included Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar along with Jamaal Wilkes at first and later James Worthy. Paul Westhead coached the team to its first title, then Pat Riley took over and won the other 4.
7: Once again, the number of Laker appearances in the Finals, this time in an 11-year period, 2000-2010. LA won a total of 5 titles, 3 with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, and 2 others, including a third victory over the Celtics, behind Kobe, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom. All of those teams were coached by Phil Jackson.
21: The number of games it took the 2020 Lakers to win the 16 games necessary to win this year’s NBA title. Their new dynamic duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis led the way. Frank Vogel became the sixth person to coach the Lakers to a championship.
32: The total number of times the Lakers have made the NBA Finals, by far the most in league history.
17: The number of NBA Championships won by the Lakers, tying them with the Celtics for the most ever. But Boston has won only 1 title in the last 34 seasons and just 4 in the last 44 years.
The Lakers, by contrast, have won 6 titles in the last 20 years and 11 in the past 40 seasons. And for some additional perspective, 17 is also the number of titles won by all other Western Conference teams combined.