To most Laker fans, many would trace back their origins back when the team was situated in Minnesota in 1947. But did you know that before they were in Minnesota, they were originally the Detroit Gems in the now-defunct National Basketball League (NBL)? They were one of the worst teams in the NBL back then and played only one season as they went on to lose 40 of the 44 games in that lone season.
However, that all changed when Ben Berger and Morris Chalfen purchased the Gems for $15,000 from former owner and jeweler (hence, the Gems team name) Maury Winston. Berger and Chalfen derived the team name ‘Lakers’ since Minnesota was dubbed as the “Land of 10,000 lakes”. And since then, the rest is history.
The Lakers team is known as one of the most illustrious franchises in NBA history. However, one can’t help but wonder what if the franchise stayed in Detroit? Maybe the Pistons didn’t come into existence as well, who knows? I guess that’s just one of those “what ifs” in basketball.