Although it took them a number of many years to take action, the Los Angeles Lakers are lastly righting a historic incorrect.
The Lakers introduced on Wednesday that they are going to be retiring the No. 99 jersey of franchise legend George Mikan. The ceremony will happen throughout their sport at dwelling towards the Denver Nuggets on Oct. 30.
Mikan, who died in 2005 on the age of 80, was the very first famous person in NBA historical past. He led the Lakers, who then performed in Minneapolis, to 5 championships from 1949-54 and commenced the staff’s wealthy custom of dominant huge males. Mikan additionally made 4 All-Star groups, received an MVP award, took dwelling 4 scoring titles, made the entire NBA’s anniversary groups (twenty fifth, thirty fifth, fiftieth, and seventy fifth), and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Corridor of Fame as a part of the inaugural class in 1959.
Regardless of all that nonetheless, the Mikan-led Minneapolis period has largely been erased (or at the very least minimized) within the Lakers’ historical past books. The group and their followers have been fast to tout the 17 whole championships received by the Lakers (together with the 5 received in Minneapolis). Nevertheless it took them till 2002 to formally honor the Minneapolis period. At a sport in April of that yr, the Lakers honored Mikan by lifting his identify to the rafters subsequent to their retired jersey numbers (lumped collectively on a banner with the names of teammates Vern Mikkelsen, Slater Martin, Jim Pollard, and Clyde Lovellette plus their coach John Kundla). One other banner that honored the 5 Minneapolis championships (all lumped collectively as properly) was additionally lifted to the rafters subsequent to the Los Angeles championship banners.
Mikan died three years later, with out ever seeing his No. 99 jersey formally be retired by the Lakers. Although no Laker has worn Mikan’s quantity since, it’s good to see the staff lastly doing proper by their franchise’s historical past (something that has not always been a strong suit for the Lakers).