From the George Mikan-led Minneapolis Lakers teams of the '40s and '50s to the "Showtime" era Magic Johnson teams of the late 1980s to Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant's dynasty of the early 21st century, one thing has been consistent about the Lakers : winning . The franchise has boasted a host of Hall of Famers and has compiled a string of championships which has scarcely been rivaled in the history of American sports.

The Los Angeles Lakers are a4–3. The Finals victory gave the franchise their 16th championship, placing them second in NBA history behind the Celtics' 17. As of 2011, the Lakers are the second most valuable NBA franchise according to in

Before the first game in the 1976-77 season the Braves also managed to acquire eventual Hall-of-Fame center Moses Malone from Portland. However, after just two games in which he played a total of just six minutes, he was traded to Houston for two draft picks. He would finish the season averaging 13 points and 13 rebounds while only two years later winning his first of three MVP Awards.

Because of the team's poor play in its final two years (30–52 in 1976–77 and 27–55 in 1977–78 ), along with rumors of the franchise relocating because of low season ticket sales, John Y. Brown met with Irv Levin , who then owned the Celtics, and negotiated a deal in which the owners would swap franchises, with Brown taking control of the Celtics and Levin getting the Braves. Levin was a California businessman, and wanted to own an NBA team in his native state. However, he knew the NBA would not even consider letting him move the Celtics. He was therefore very receptive to Brown's offer. The deal was brokered by NBA general counsel David Stern , who became the league's commissioner in 1984. Following what would be the Braves' final season in Western New York, the NBA owners voted 21–1 to let the team relocate. As Levin wanted, the Buffalo Braves moved to San Diego, California after the 1977–78 season, and became the San Diego Clippers .

[ edit ] San Diego years (1978–84)

San Diego Clippers logo.

In the team's first season in San Diego, it posted a winning record, going 43–39 under new head coach a San Diego native who was two years removed from an NBA championship with the Trail Blazers. Unfortunately, Walton did not make much of an impact, as he missed 68 injuries due to foot injuries (which he also suffered in his final years in Portland, and ultimately shortened his career). San Diego managed to finish with a record of 35–47, despite the fact that many of its key players missed games due to injuries. Free continued his great scoring, again finishing second in league scoring, with 30.2 PPG. Paul Silas replaced Shue the following season, and the Clippers finished with a 36–46 record, once again missing the postseason. Walton missed the entire season once again due to chronic foot injuries. Free was traded to the

Los Angeles Clippers secondary logo

In 1984, the Clippers moved north to Los Angeles, playing at the team's nucleus during the late 1980s and early '90s

The Clippers were hapless for the next seven seasons, including a 12–70 record in thjoin the team as the general manager and vice president of basketball operations.

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