Winning Time rightly mocks the origin of the LA Lakers’ name

Winning Time Episode 2 pokes fun at the Los Angeles Lakers team name for being irrelevant, but here’s how the NBA franchise got its now famous name.

Los Angeles Lakers team name mocked Buying Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty episode 2, but here’s how the organization got this unexpected name. Although the Lakers were one of the top sports franchises in 2022 when the HBO Max show was released, the organization wasn’t necessarily a powerhouse in the early 1980s. winning time documents the transformation the Lakers will undergo over the next decade after Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson is drafted and Jerry Buss becomes the team’s owner.

winning time Episode 2 delves deeper into this period of NBA history, as the Lakers prepare for Magic Johnson’s rookie season. This includes Jerry Buss taking control of the Lakers’ finances so that others involved in the organization are unaware of their potentially limited resources. While Jerry Buss asks his employees to get creative with ideas for more revenue and operates as if they have unlimited funding, this is not the case. He eventually brings the accounting books to his mother, Jessie Buss, who is not very happy with her latest business venture. One of his biggest questions, however, is why the Los Angeles-based team is named after lakes despite not being nearby.

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Related: Buying Time: The Lakers’ Secret Weapon Has Always Been Jeanie Buss

Jessie Buss’ question might resonate with winning time viewers, because the name Los Angeles Lakers doesn’t quite fit. However, the name is linked to the origins of the organization. Before the Lakers moved to Los Angeles in 1958, the team was founded as the Minneapolis Lakers. The Minneapolis Lakers were formed in 1947 and take their name from one of Minnesota’s nicknames, “Land of 10,000 Lakes”. In the 11 years the Lakers operated out of Minneapolis, their team name was a fitting fit due to the proximity to these bodies of water. They also formed the original Lakers dynasty, as they won four championships in five seasons from 1950 to 1954.



Minneapolis Lakers

Once the Minneapolis Lakers moved to Los Angeles in 1958, a rebranding was not made to give the organization a more appropriate name. Although there are lakes in the city of Los Angeles, it is not something they are known for. It would have made more sense for then-Lakers owner Bob Short to come up with a different name that represents the glitz, glamor and star power of Los Angeles. Since this change never happened, it’s understandable why winning time episode 2 uses Jerry Buss’ mother to mock the Lakers name. It’s a fun moment and underscores how weird the name is, even though the Los Angeles Lakers name is iconic.


The Los Angeles Lakers name issue is something that other professional sports organizations have dealt with in the past. Although some franchises finally settled on the name after another move, it’s unlikely to happen in Los Angeles. The name and gold and purple colors of the Los Angeles Lakers are too well known at this point to change and have too much history tied to them, especially because of the 1980s dynasty of Magic Johnson who winning time explore.

More: Buying time: Why the Lakers couldn’t draft Larry Bird in 1979

New episodes of Buying Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty out on HBO/HBO Max at 9 p.m. EST every Sunday.



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