Michael Wilbon: “Lakers…are the most important basketball franchise in the world”

The most important franchise in all of basketball? Agree, disagree…?

Washington Post: There’s no place in America where pro basketball matters as much as the Lakers do to Southern California in June. The Lakers aren’t secondary to the folks here, as the Celtics are to the Red Sox in Boston. There’s no pro football team consuming the local passions here like there is in Washington or Dallas.

The most famous names of all here are Laker names: Wilt, West and Baylor.

Kareem and Magic, Shaq and Kobe, Buss and Jackson. The Lakers aren’t the only show in town — but they’re the biggest, the best and the most important.

That’s because the Lakers, arguably, are the most important basketball franchise in the world. Yes, the Celtics have won more league championships, 17 to the Lakers’ 14. But of the 60 NBA Finals in league history, the Lakers have played in 29. And it’s likely that seven of the top 50 players in the history of the game are Lakers.

Chris Manning is a co-owner and video producer for TheLakersNation.com. In addition to his "LD2k" fan-video productions, Chris is working as the "Production Manager" for HS3; A Digital, Brand Strategy and Marketing company based in L.A. which represents the digital entities of numerous high-profile athletes. You can follow him on Twitter for a wide array of sports/Lakers talk!
  • barcalakerfan4life

    lakers are the best franchise in the nba just give it a little time and well have more titles than foston.

  • pio2u

    “Lakers are the most important basketball franchise in the world”

    DUH!!!!!!

  • lainok

    I’ve known this for years. The fact that the lakers have been in almost half of all the finals ever played? That they’ve only missed the playoffs 5 times ever? The fact that if they were to even make the finals next year, that means they have played in 7 of the last ten finals of the last decade? the celtics, the yankees, the redwings nor the cowboys can touch any of that.

  • Dwight Howard

    In the world? I don’t know about that. What about the Magics?

  • barcalakerfan4life

    [Comment ID #74939 Will Be Quoted Here]

    try winning a banner first then well talk about the magic.

  • Isaiah

    i remember this article on gilbert arenas or something like that before and that he said he plays in the NBA..

    then this fan said “Oh, like the Lakers.” hahaha!

  • Kevin

    wrote this a few years back, before the celtics tacked on another title.. i’m no expert, but i love writing about this stuff

    Best Basketball Dynasty: Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers

    I’m not going to say that it’s a landslide with the Lakers, because it’s very close between the Lakers and the Celtics, but I’m going to go with the Lakers. It’s true that the Celtics have 16 championships to the Lakers’ 14, but I’m not going to give it to the Celtics just because they have 2 more championships. # of championships is not the only criteria. There are 5 other criteria that I’m looking at:

    1) You gotta look at consistency, and the Lakers are the epitome of consistency. The Lakers have been to half (yes, half) of all the NBA Finals. (And yes, we’ve lost a lot of ‘em, but losing in the Finals is better than losing in the first round, in terms of measuring a franchise’s consistency.) The Celtics haven’t done anything in the playoffs the past 2 decades.

    2) You gotta look at the dynasties within the franchise. The Lakers have FOUR distinct mini-dynasties. The George Mikan-led Minneapolis Lakers of the 50′s, the first dynasty of the NBA, 5 championships in 6 years. The great ’72 team (Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Gail Goodrich) that won 33 straight and 69 overall. Magic’s Lakers of the 80′s, who went to EIGHT Finals in the decade and won 5 of them. And lastly, Shaq and Kobe’s Lakers of the new milennium. The Celtics only have 2 mini-dynasties, Russell’s team and Bird’s team. The Lakers’ success is more spread out.

    3) Furthermore, you gotta look at the players from these teams. Name the top 10 NBA players of all time, and at least FIVE, maybe SIX of them will be Lakers. Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Shaquille O’Neal, maybe Kobe one day. The Celtics only got Bill Russell and Larry Bird, and maybe Bob Cousy, but I doubt it. The other ones to round out the top 10 are Oscar Robertson, Julius Erving, and Michael Jordan.

    4) Competition. The Celtics won most of their championships in the 60’s, when there were 8 teams in the league.

    5) And lastly, mystique. The Lakers are the Yankees of basketball. The NBA is better and more interesting when the Lakers are good, just like baseball is better and more interesting when the Yankees are good. The Lakers are the flagship team of basketball, no question.

  • Pingback: Today’s Celtics Links 6/8 at New England Sports 24/7

  • lakerfan4ever

    Totally true.I live in Italy and every time I’m wearing my Lakers jerseys people recognize the team and even the logo.

  • jC

    i dont like michael wilbon. he always calls magic earvin. “earvin and i know blah blah..” calm down buddy. why do you call him earvin when he is clearly the magic man. idk. it just annoys me.

  • sketch

    [Comment ID #74941 Will Be Quoted Here]

    TRY WINNING A GAME IN THE NBA FINALS FIRST!!!!!!!! Remember, there ain’t no such thinng as magic… only illusions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just like your chances of winning the NBA Finals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mike

    You can’t be serious. Being in 30 NBA Finals is nice, BUT THEY LOST IN 15 OF THEM!!!! 17-10 is the number that matters. 17 BOSTON titles against 10 LOS ANGELES