Which city hosted the now L.A. Lakers prior to their move to Los Angeles in 1960?
Answer: The Lakers began playing in Minneapolis, calling themselves the Minneapolis Lakers in honor of the state’s nickname, “Land of 10,000 Lakes”. Initially a member of the NBL, the Lakers won the 1948 NBL championship before joining the rival Basketball Association of America and winning five of the next six BAA and NBA championships in Minneapolis after the NBA formed in 1949. The team was propelled by center George Mikan, who is described by the NBA’s official website as the league’s “first superstar”. After struggling financially in the late 1950s following Mikan’s retirement, they relocated to Los Angeles before the 1960–61 season.
Minneapolis is a major city in Minnesota that forms “Twin Cities” with the neighboring state capital of St. Paul. Bisected by the Mississippi River, it’s known for its parks and lakes. Minneapolis is also home to many cultural landmarks like the Walker Art Center, a contemporary art museum, and the adjacent Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, famed for Claes Oldenburg’s “Spoonbridge and Cherry” sculpture.