Nov 15, 2021
The NBA's 75th anniversary season is well underway, and we take a reverential look this week at some of the league's most legendary dynasties, starting with its very first - the Minneapolis Lakers of the late 1940s/early 1950s - with sportswriter Marcus Thompson ("Dynasties: The 10 G.O.A.T Teams That Changed the NBA Forever").
While the Los Angeles version of the Lakers has been pumping out iconic clusters of championships since 1971 (including the Magic Johnson-led "Showtime"-era in the 1980s, and the Shaq/Kobe-powered bookends during the 2000s) - it was the team's genesis in Minnesota's Twin Cities during the league's fledgling first years that set the template for modern-day pro hoops greatness.
In fact, Minneapolis' Lakers franchise was dominating the game even before joining the NBA's inaugural season in 1949-50 as the champions of both of the circuit's predecessors - the penultimate season of the National Basketball League (1947-48) and the last season of the Basketball Association of America (1948-49).
Led by pro basketball's first true national superstar George Mikan, the Lakers piled up six championship trophies across three leagues between 1948-54 - including four out of the NBA's first five titles.