What’s new with the Los Angeles Lakers? That’s what this page is all about.

The Team Spirit FAST BREAK website begins where the Team Spirit books end.

That’s because basketball never stands still … And I can never squeeze everything I want into 48 pages!

Take a look at some of the Lakers collectibles I have in my home.

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2022-23 Season

February 07, 2023: LeBron James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer in a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Kareem had held the record with 38,387 points.

January 24, 2023: LeBron James became the first player to score 40 or more points against all 30 NBA teams when he scored 46 against the Clippers.

January 10, 2023: LeBron James started the new year off by winning Player of the Week honors. In three victories he averaged 35.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 7.7 assists per game.

Season Preview: There are a lot of new names and faces on the team’s roister following an extremely disappointing 2021–22 season, but three names are very familiar: Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, and LeBron James—three of the NBA’s great stars. New coach Darvin Ham will encourage more ball-sharing and tighter defense, but none of that will matter of Davis can’t stay on the court. Davis has missed more games than he has played the past two seasons.

2021-22 Season

Season Recap: Many experts picked the Lakers to go deep into the 2022 playoffs, but instead they ended up missing the postseason entirely. LeBron James did all he could to lead the club with his best scoring season in more than 10 years, but age and injuries slowed the team down in the second half and, at times, they were unable to keep opponents from running up big scores. The disappointing year cost coach Frank Vogel his job just two seasons after winning a championship—and left Los Angeles fans wondering where the team was headed in 2022–23.

March 05, 2022: LeBron James scored 56 points to become the second player to score 50 points in three different decades. The first was Michael Jordan. Six days later, LeBron became the oldest player to score 50 points twice in the same season and, on March 19th, he passed Karl Malone to become the second-highest scorer in NBA history.

January 07, 2022: At the age of 37, LeBron James became the oldest player to score 25 or more points 10 games in a row.

December 9, 2021: LeBron James had 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists in a game against the Grizzlies. He became the fifth player in NBA history with 100 triple-doubles in his career.

Season Preview: Lakers fans are looking forward to healthy seasons from LeBron James and Anthony Davis. In 2021–22 the two future Hall of Famers are joined by a third, Russell Westbrook. A weakness last year was the role players around LA’s star talent. That appears to have improved, with newcomers Kendrick Nunn and Joel Ayayi joining a bench loaded with experienced players. Any team with LeBron, AD, and Westbrook has a chance to win on any night and take the Lakers all the way back to the NBA Finals.

2020-21 Season

Season Recap: The Lakers returned from a short off-season and played well early, but age and injuries slowed them in the final weeks and hurt their chances in the playoffs. LeBron James missed several weeks with a sprained ankle and Anthony Davis sat out 30 games with a sore leg. The Lakers needed to win a play-in game to make the playoffs, which they did, but when Davis reinjured his leg in the first round against the Phoenix Suns, LA did not survive the series.

Season Preview: Most championship teams spend the off-season resting, but the Lakers were one of the busiest clubs in the NBA. They signed LeBron James and Anthony Davis to long-term deals and replaced departing team members with quality players. Newcomers Wesley Matthews, Montrezl Harrell, Dennis Schroder, and Marc Gasol all play key roles in what LA fans hope will be another run to the NBA Finals.

2019-20 Season

December 26, 2020: LeBron James became the first player in history to score in double-figures 1,000 games in a row.

Season Recap: The Lakers were favored by most experts to win the NBA Championship and they did just that, defeating the Miami Heat in the Finals, 4 games to 2. Anthony Davis led the team in scoring and rebounding in 2019–20, while LeBron James led the entire NBA with 10.2 assists per game. James and Davis had a solid supporting cast that included Danny Green, Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. It was the first NBA title for LA since 2010, and it provided a fitting tribute to the star of that 2010 team, Kobe Bryant, who perished in a helicopter crash earlier in the season. James was named MVP of the 2020 Finals.

September 9, 2020: When the Lakers defeated the Rockets in Game 3 of their playoff series, it marked the 162nd postseason victory of LeBron James—which set a new record for an individual player. Derek Fisher (161), Tim Duncan (157), Robert Horry (155), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (154) are the only other players with more than 150.

January 25, 2020: LeBron James passed Kobe Bryant for third place on the all-time NBA scoring list. The next day, Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash.

December 18, 2019: Anthony Davis scored 50 points in a victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. He and LeBron James, who scored 28, were the first Lakers to team up for 70-plus points since 2003.

November 19, 2019: LeBron James recorded a triple-double against the Thunder. He became the first player in history with a triple-double against all 30 NBA teams.

Season Preview: LeBron James, Dwight Howard, and Anthony Davis on the floor at the same time? That could be a nightmare for LA’s opponents this season. The three veterans are joined by Rajon Rondo and Danny Green give the Lakers championship-caliber support players. They have the talent to win 50-plus games, and LeBron might end up as the team’s point guard. It should be an interesting season for Lakers fans.

2018-19 Season

Season Recap: Los Angeles fans expected big things from the young Lakers after LeBron James joined the team, but not even King James could turn the Lakers into a playoff team. Injuries and inexperienced slowed the team all year. James led the Lakers in scoring, assists and rebounds, but missed more than 25 games. Young guns Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram missed even more. The good news is that Los Angeles has the makings of a winning team as long as those three players are able to stay on the court.

February 15, 2018: Kyle Kuzma led all scorers with 35 points in the 2019 Rising Stars Challenge.

December 15, 2018: LeBron James and Lonzo Ball recorded triple-doubles in a win over the Hornets. It was the first time since 2007 that teammates had triple-doubles in the same game. The last time two Lakers had triple-doubles in the same game was in 1982 (Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar).

October 14, 2018: LeBron James scored 44 points against the Trail Blazers to pass Wilt Chamberlain for #5 on the all-time scoring list. Four days later James had his forst 50-point game as a Laker.

Season Preview: The Lakers should be fun to watch in 2018-19, even of they don’t have the talent to win a championship. Newcomer LeBron James leads a group of fast, young kids and wily veterans into battle. Will he do so as a power forward? A shooting guard? A center? There are a lot of pieces for coach Luke Walton to sort out. Point guard Lonzo Ball knows how to get the ball into the right hands. Will Lonzo and LeBron click? That could make the difference between a .500 season and a trip to the conference finals!

2017-18 Season

Season Recap: The Lakers finished third in their division but 11th overall in the Western Conference, which meant they did not make the playoffs again. Rookie Lonzo Ball had good games and bad games, but was always exciting. However, it was another 20-year-old, Brandon Ingram, who often stole the show. The Duke forward led the club with 16.1 points per game.

December 18, 2017: The team held a halftime ceremony to officially retire the two numbers Kobe Bryant wore during his career, 8 and 24.

November 11, 2017: Lonzo Ball had 19 points, 13 assists, and 12 rebounds to become the youngest player in NBA history to complete a triple-double.

Season Preview: Los Angeles scored three first-round picks last spring, including #2 Lonzo Ball. They will join center Brook Lopez in a lineup that includes Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Julius Randle. That adds up to great offensive potential, but not much defense. The Lakers may not win more than half their games, but they should be fun to watch.

2016-17 Season

Season Recap: The Lakers took the floor without Kobe Bryant for the first time since the 1990s and struggled mightily at times. Even so, they improved by 15 victories! Teenage rookie Brandon Ingram showed signs he could be a big star, while second-year guard D’Angelo Russell was L.A.’s most consistent player.

2015-16 Season

January 7, 2016: Kobe Bryant joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone as the only NBA players to score 33,000 points. All three have worn Los Angeles uniforms.

Season Preview: As the Kobe Bryant era draws to a close, the Lakers find themselves short on talent at several positions. Roy Hibbert is solid at center, but the team needs its youth movement—featuring Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and D’Angelo Russell—to grow up fast.

2014-15 Season

Season Recap: The Lakers spent the year rebuilding and paid the price, with a 21–61 record—the worst in team history. Kobe Bryant missed more than half the year with an injury, leaving Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer, and Jordan Hill to pick up the pieces.

January 14, 2015: Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

Season Preview: Injuries destroyed the Lakers in 2013–14, so this season will help the team better understand its strengths and weaknesses. Kobe Bryant will lead the team in scoring, but behind him are several question marks, including center Jordan Hill and guard Jeremy Lin. The Lakers hope first-round pick Julius Randle can become one of the best young power forwards in the NBA. He will learn the game watching Carlos Boozer, who came o L.A. after four seasons with the Bulls.

2013-14 Season

Season Recap: Age and injuries slowed the Lakers down for much of the season. Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant were unable to stay in the lineup, and their teammates could not pick up the slack. In a February game against the Timberwolves, three Lakers went down with injuries! Pau Gasol stayed healthy and led the team in scoring and rebounding.

More Go-To Guys

This card of Vern Mikkelsen came with potato chips. It’s really hard to find one without a grease stain or a crease. (Potato Products Corp.)

I love this card. It looks like Goodrich is floating in outer space. Where do you suppose the ball goes after it leaves his hand? (NBA Players Association)

  • Vern Mikkelsen — 6′ 7″ Forward
    Born: 10/21/1928
    Died: 11/21/2013
    Played for Team: 1949–50 to 1958–59
    Vern Mikkelsen was the most physical forward of the 1950s. He played close to the basket and was a fierce rebounder. Mikkelsen made six All-Star teams and was inducted in to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.

  • Rudy La Russo — 6′ 7″ Forward
    Born: 11/11/1937
    Died: 7/9/2004
    Played for Team: 1959–60 to 1966–67
    Rudy LaRusso played alongside Elgin Baylor on the Lakers’ front line in the 1960s. He averaged a double-double three years in a row and was an All-Star twice for L.A.

  • Gail Goodrich — 6′ 1″ Guard
    Born: 4/23/1943
    Played for Team: 1965–66 to 1967–68 & 1970–71 to 1975–76
    The Lakers lost Gail Goodrich in the 1968 NBA Expansion Draft, but traded to get him back two years later. He was an All-Star four years in a row after his return to L.A. and was the leading scorer on the 1972 championship team.

  • Happy Hairston  — 6′ 7″ Forward
    Born: 5/31/1942
    Died: 5/1/2001
    Played for Team: 1969–70 to 1974–75
    Harold “Happy” Hairston was a rebounding machine. He once had 13 defensive rebounds in one quarter. Los Angeles fans were pleased the team traded for Happy. The Lakers went to the NBA Finals three times after he joined the team.

  • Jamaal Wilkes — 6′ 6″ Forward
    Born: 5/2/1953
    Played for Team: 1978–77 to 1984–85
    Jamaal Wilkes was nicknamed “Silk” for his smooth game. He averaged over 17 points six years in a row for the Lakers and represented the team in two All-Star Games. Wilkes was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.

  • Byron Scott — 6′ 3″ Guard
    Born: 3/28/1961
    Played for Team: 1983–84 to 1992–93 & 1996–97
    Byron Scott was a key part of the Lakers attack. He could start a fast break or finish one. He could also hit long 3-pointers. Scott helped L.A. win three championships.

  • A.C. Green — 6′ 9″ Forward
    Born: 10/3/1963
    Played for Team: 1985–86 to 1992–93 & 1999–00
    A.C. Green led the Lakers in rebounding six times. His defense helped L.A.
    win back-to-back championships in 1987 and 1988.

More Fun Facts

Mychal Thompson signed this photo. He actually played more seasons for the Trailblazers than the Lakers. (Author’s Collection)

Kurt Rambis didn’t get photographed shooting too often, That’s probably why he autographed this photo. (Author’s Collection)

    In 1987–88, the Lakers traded for Mychal Thompson, who had been the first pick in the NBA Draft in 1978. That gave L.A. four players who had been the #1 overall pick—Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1969), Magic Johnson (1979), James Worthy (1982), and Thompson (1978). The Lakers defeated the Celtics that season to win the NBA title.

    Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher rank among basketball’s greatest backcourt duos. In 2010, Fisher played his 1,000th NBA game on February 10. One game later, Bryant played in his 1,000th game. Later that season, Bryant and Fisher won their fifth championship together.

    When Bill Sharman became the coach of the Lakers in 1971, he introduced a new routine to the NBA: the morning shoot-around. That season the team won 33 games in a  row.

    Kurt Rambis was the “Clark Kent” of the Lakers during the 1980s. He didn’t look like much of a player when he took the court wearing thick glasses and a bushy moustache. But his defense and rebounding helped the team win four championships.

  • YER OUT!
    Pro basketball was a rough sport in the 1950s. No player was rougher than Vern Mikkelsen of the Lakers. He fouled out of 127 games—about one in every five that he played. No one held it against Mikkelsen, however. He was picked for the All-Star Game six times.

League Leaders

This card of George Mikan was cut off the back of a Wheaties box in 1952. Wheaties has been putting athletes on their boxes for 80 years. (General Mills, Inc.)

As tall as this card is, Kareem still had to bend over to fit inside it! (Topps, Inc.)

    1947–48 — George Mikan — 21.3*
    1948–49 — George Mikan — 28.3**
    1949–50 — George Mikan — 27.4
    1950–51 — George Mikan — 28.4
    1969–70 — Jerry West — 31.2
    1999–00 — Shaquille O’Neal — 29.7
    2005–06 — Kobe Bryant — 35.4
    2006–07 — Kobe Bryant — 31.6

    1951–52 — George Mikan — 13.5
    1952–53 — George Mikan — 14.4
    1968–69 — Wilt Chamberlain — 21.1
    1970–71 — Wilt Chamberlain — 18.2
    1971–72 — Wilt Chamberlain — 19.2
    1972–73 — Wilt Chamberlain — 18.6
    1975–76 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — 16.9
    2012–13 — Dwight Howard — 12.4

    1971–72 — Jerry West — 9.7
    1982–83 — Magic Johnson — 10.5
    1983–84 — Magic Johnson — 13.1
    1985–86 — Magic Johnson — 12.6
    1986–87 — Magic Johnson — 12.2
    2019–20 — LeBron James — 10.2
    1980–81 — Magic Johnson — 3.4
    1981–82 — Magic Johnson — 2.7

    Steals did not become an official statistic until 1973–74.

    1973–74 — Elmore Smith — 4.9
    1975–76 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — 4.1
    1978–79 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — 4.0
    1979–80 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — 3.4

    Blocks did not become an official statistic until 1973–74.

    * National Basketball League Leader
    ** Basketball Association of America Leader

Playing for the Championship

Fans bought this program at the L.A. Forum during the 1972 NBA Finals. The Knicks and Lakers played for the championship three times in four seasons. (Los Angeles Lakers)

Rookie Magic Johnson stars on this 1980 Sporting News. He led the Lakers to the league title that season. (The Sporting News)

This ticket is from the 1985 NBA Finals. L.A. beat the Celtics in 6 games. (Author’s Collection)


National Basketball League

1947–48 Rochester Royals Won 3–1*

Basketball Association of America

1948–49 Washington Capitols Won 4–2*

National Basketball Association

1949–50 Syracuse Nationals Won 4–2*
1951–52 New York Knicks Won 4–3*
1952–53 New York Knicks Won 4–1*
1953–54 Syracuse Nationals Won 4–3*
1958–59 Boston Celtics Lost 0–4*
1961–62 Boston Celtics Lost 3–4
1962–63 Boston Celtics LostL 2–4
1964–65 Boston Celtics Lost 1–4
1965–66 Boston Celtics Lost 3–4
1967–68 Boston Celtics Lost 2–4
1968–69 Boston Celtics Lost 3–4
1969–70 New York Knicks Lost 3–4
1971–72 New York Knicks Won 4–1
1972–73 New York Knicks Lost 4–1
1979–80 Philadelphia 76ers Won 4–2
1981–82 Philadelphia 76ers Won 4–2
1982–83 Philadelphia 76ers Lost 0–4
1983–84 Boston Celtics Lost 3–4
1984–85 Boston Celtics Won 4–2
1986–87 Boston Celtics Won 4–2
1987–88 Detroit Pistons Won 4–3
1988–89 Detroit Pistons Lost 0–4
1990–91 Chicago Bulls Lost 1–4
1999–2000 Indiana Pacers Won 4–2
2000–01 Philadelphia 76ers Won 4–1
2001–02 New Jersey Nets Won 4–0
2003–04 New York Nets Lost 1–4
2007–08 Boston Celtics Lost 2–4
2008–09 Orlando Magic Won 4–1
2009–10 Boston Celtics Won 4–3

* Played in Minneapolis

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