In lieu of the regular season, Laker Nation has decided to take you back through Laker history to recap important games, record-breaking performances and memorable news from the past 64 years of the franchise. We understand that it’s not the basketball you may have been hoping for, but for the time being, it’s the closest we’ll get to reading about the Lakers on a basketball court.
NOVEMBER 9, 1990
SACRAMENTO KINGS 86 – LA LAKERS 100
NEW COACH MIKE DUNLEAVY GETS FIRST CAREER COACHING WIN
Things were looking different for the Lakers at the start of the 1990-91 NBA season. Longtime center Kareem Abdul-Jabaar had retired two seasons ago, Hall-of Fame coach Pat Riley had left the team after the 1989-90 season citing burnout, and the team had begun the season 0-2. New Laker coach Mike Dunleavy, in his first career head coaching position, was inserted into a job where championships were expectations.
So after whispers began to question whether Dunleavy was really going to be “the guy” that would continue the tradition of winning for the Lakers, it was a good thing that they had the 0-3 Sacramento Kings next on their schedule – the same 0-3 Sacramento Kings that had gone winless in 42 straight games spanning 16 years when visiting the Forum.
After a home-opening 125-123 overtime loss to the Portland Trailblazers three days prior, the Lakers would put together an effective game against the Kings, leading no less than nine points throughout the game. Second-year player Vlade Divac would score 10 points and bring down a then-career high 16 rebounds, with Magic Johnson providing 25 points and 13 assists in the 100-86 win.
Mike Dunleavy would get his first career win as a head coach, his team presenting him with a signed game ball in the locker room following the contest. Despite the rocky start to the season, Dunleavy would lead the Lakers to a 58-24 record during the 1990-91 season, going so far as to reach the 1991 NBA Finals before losing to the Chicago Bulls in Michael Jordan’s first of six NBA championships.
Quote of the Night: “I think,” said Dunleavy, looking pleased, “I’m not going to get shut out.” – Lakers coach Mike Dunleavy, on his first career win after an 0-2 start – From the LA Times, Nov. 10, 1990.
ALSO ON THIS DATE – NOVEMBER 9, 1985 – KAREEM HITS ANOTHER SCORING MILESTONE
Abdul-Jabaar would score 15 points in a 111-88 win over the New York Knicks, making it his 700 consecutive game scoring double-digit points.