The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. The team plays in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team was established in 1967, and played in San Diego, California, for four years, before moving to Houston.
In the Rockets' debut season, they won only 15 games. But after drafting Elvin Hayes first overall in the 1969 NBA Draft, they made their first appearance in the playoffs in 1969. After Hayes was traded, Moses Malone was later acquired to replace him. Malone went on to win the MVP award twice, and lead Houston to the conference finals in his first year with the team. He also took the Rockets to the NBA Finals in 1981, but they were defeated in six games by Larry Bird's Boston Celtics which also featured the Rockets current head coach, Kevin McHale.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America, and is widely considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world. It has thirty franchised member clubs (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada), and is an active member of USA Basketball (USAB), which is recognized by FIBA (also known as the International Basketball Federation) as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major North American professional sports leagues. NBA players are the world's best paid sportsmen, by average annual salary per player.
The league was founded in New York City on June 6, 1946, as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). The league adopted the name National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after absorbing the rival National Basketball League (NBL). The league's several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices located in the Olympic Tower at 645 Fifth Avenue in New York City. NBA Entertainment and NBA TV studios are directed out of offices located in Secaucus, New Jersey.
The NBA Finals is the championship series of the National Basketball Association. The series was named the NBA World Championship Series until 1986.
The series is played between the winners of the Western and Eastern Conference Finals. At the conclusion of the championship round, the winners of four (4) games of the NBA Finals are awarded the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy. (Winners from 1946 to 1983 received the Walter A. Brown Trophy redesigned in 1977 to the current form.) The NBA Finals has been played at the end of every NBA and Basketball Association of America season in history, the first being held in 1947.
The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles, California. They play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Lakers play their home games at Staples Center, which they share with their local NBA rival, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL, and the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA. The Lakers are one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA, and have won 16 championships, their last being in 2010. As of 2013, the Lakers are the second most valuable NBA franchise according to Forbes, having an estimated value of $1 billion.
The franchise began with the 1947 purchase of a disbanded team, the Detroit Gems of the NBL. The new team began playing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, calling themselves the Minneapolis Lakers in honor of the state's nickname, "Land of 10,000 Lakes". The Lakers won five championships in Minneapolis, 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.
The Boston Celtics (ˈsɛlˌtɪks) are a National Basketball Association (NBA) team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Founded in 1946 and one of eight NBA teams (out of 23) to survive the league's first decade, the team is currently owned by Boston Basketball Partners LLC. The Celtics play their home games at the TD Garden, which they share with the National Hockey League's Boston Bruins. The franchise's seventeen championships are the most for any NBA franchise.
Inglewood is a city in southwestern Los Angeles County, California, southwest of downtown Los Angeles. It was incorporated on February 14, 1908. Its population stood at 109,673 as of the 2010 U.S. Census. The city is in the South Bay region of the greater Los Angeles area.
The Lakers–Rockets rivalry began in the 1980s during the Lakers' Showtime era. The two teams have met eight times in the playoffs. In the 1980s the Rockets or Lakers represented the Western Conference in the NBA Finals. Since 1980, the Lakers have won 10 NBA titles appearing in 15 NBA Finals, while the Rockets have won 2 appearing in 4.
The 1971–72 NBA season was the 26th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA Championship, beating the New York Knicks 4 games to 1 in the NBA Finals.
As the 25th anniversary of the founding of the modern NBA, the league unveiled a new logo, inspired by the logo of Major League Baseball, to commemorate the occasion. It features the white silhouette of a basketball player dribbling, framed by red and blue. Jerry West of the Los Angeles Lakers was used as the model for the logo. Coincidentally, Jerry West would win the only NBA Championship of his career during the season.