Celebrate LA Lakers History With a Lakers Throwback Jersey
The LA Lakers are one of the most celebrated teams in the league’s history. In 1967, Lakers jerseys had a slanted “Lakers” script and featured white numbers with gold or purple drop shadows. This would be the main look used by the Lakers until 1977.
It’s undeniable how iconic the 1970s version of the Lakers throwback jersey would become. It has since remained the most recognizable version, becoming a commonly requested custom throwback jersey.
In 1968, the Lakers recruited Wilt Chamberlain, a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP). He set a team record with an average of 21.1 rebounds per game (RPG).
Along with Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, they led the Lakers to face off against longtime rival Boston Celtics in the finals. Despite a 3-2 lead, Boston won the series and earned their 11th NBA Championship.
During the 1969-70 season, the Lakers returned to the finals once more. Instead of facing off against the Celtics, they played the New York Knicks. The Lakers lost 4-3 that season and were defeated by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1970-71 season.
The 1971-72 season brought several changes. Together, they led to the longest winning streak of any team in major American professional team sports.
Though hampered by the loss of Baylor, Bill Sharman was brought in as head coach. With a high focus on tough defense and fast break offense, the team went on to go on a 33-game win streak. By the end of the season, the Lakers set a record 69 wins, the most at the time until 1995-96, when the Chicago Bulls got 72 wins.
In the finals, they faced off against the New York Knicks again, going on to avenge their loss and beating them 4 to 1. As an homage to their success, the 1971-72 gold uniforms were used as LA Lakers' throwback jerseys in the 2010-11 season.
In the 1972-73 season, the Lakers saw similar success, winning 60 games and another Pacific Division title. The championship saw them face off against the Knicks a third time.
But, New York won the series in five. Following the loss of West and Chamberlain, Los Angeles fell short in the conference semifinals against Milwaukee during the 1973-74 season.
The Lakers acquired three-time MVP Kareem Abdul-Jabbar following the 1974-75 season. While he became a four-time winner in 1975-76, the Lakers failed in the playoffs.
The following season, former Lakers player Jerry West replaced Sherman as the head coach. With Abdul-Jabbar claiming another MVP win, the Lakers won the Pacific Division, ending the 1976-77 season with a league-best of 53-29.
The start of the 1977-78 season saw a few setbacks. Abdul-Jabbar broke his hand after punching Bucks center Kent Benson.
Two months later, Abdul-Jabbar got into an altercation with Kevin Kunnert following a rebound. The Lakers power forward, Kermit Washington, entered the fight. Upon noticing Rudy Tomjanovich approaching to stop the fight, Washington punched him in the face.
Tomjanovich suffered life-threatening injuries, leading to the suspension and release of Washington from the Lakers. Despite this and the loss of Abdul-Jabbar for two months, the team managed 45 wins before losing in the first round of the playoffs.
Prior to the 1978-79 season, the gold uniforms received a minor overhaul. They switched from white numbers to purple numbers with white drop shadows. This season, the team gained a 47-35 record but lost to the SuperSonics in the semifinals of the playoffs.
The 1990's were a bit of a dry period for the Lakers as they only went to the finals once, losing to the Chicago Bulls in 1991.
With the additions of superstars Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal the Lakers dominated the 2000's winning 5 Championships cementing their place as one of the most successful franchises in NBA history.