Lakers to retire five-time NBA champion George Mikan’s jersey

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The Los Angeles Lakers are tied with the Boston Celtics for the most NBA titles by a single franchise in NBA history with 17.

Eleven of these rings were won in Los Angeles after the Lakers moved from Minneapolis in 1960 with stars like Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal sharing time as the faces of the franchise.

George Mikan of the Minneapolis Lakers, left, poses for a portrait with Shaquille O'Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers during a photo shoot in 2002.

George Mikan of the Minneapolis Lakers, left, poses for a portrait with Shaquille O’Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers during a photo shoot in 2002.
(Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

But the Minneapolis Lakers and their five NBA championships are often an afterthought, rarely mentioned when the Lakers’ success is discussed.

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The leader of these teams, George Mikan, is finally getting what he deserves. The Lakers announced that they will retire Mikan’s #99 jersey on October 30, when the Lakers play the Denver Nuggets.

Mikan’s jersey will become the Laker’s 11th number to be retired, joining Johnson, Bryant, O’Neal, Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Gail Goodrich, James Worthy, Jerry West and Jamaal Wilkes in the rafters. from Crypto.com Arena.

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Mikan, who died in 2005, played seven years in the NBA, all with the Minneapolis Lakers. His career began in 1948 and ended in 1956, and he made four All-Star teams and won five championships.

George Mikan of the Minneapolis Lakers during warm-up at Madison Square Garden.

George Mikan of the Minneapolis Lakers during warm-up at Madison Square Garden.
(Evelyn Straus/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

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He averaged 23.1 points, 13.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. Mikan’s career points-per-game average is the sixth highest for any Laker player.

A statue of George Mikan of the Minneapolis Lakers.

A statue of George Mikan of the Minneapolis Lakers.
(Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

His dominance during his time still affects the game today, with the league introducing the goalie rule and widening the lane to 12 feet due to Mikan’s presence.

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Mikan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959 and was nominated for the NBA 75th Anniversary Team last season.

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