Morris Chalfen Organization founder
Morris Chalfen (died November 4, 1979)was a sports entertainment promoter. He founded the Holiday On Ice show, and later purchased and relocated a near-extinct National Basketball League (NBL) franchise which became the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers began in 1946 when Ben Berger and Morris Chalfen bought the Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League for $15,000 and relocated it to Minneapolis. They hired a general manager, Max Winter, and a coach, John Kundla, then began the hunt for players. As the Gems had by far the worst record in the NBL, the Lakers had the first pick in the 1947 dispersal draft of players from the Professional Basketball League of America, which they used to selected George Mikan, later to become the greatest center of his time. With Mikan, new coach John Kundla and an infusion of former University of Minnesota players, the Lakers won the NBL championship in that 1947-48 season and joined four other NBL teams in jumping to the Basketball Association of America, where they promptly won the 1948-49 BAA championship. The NBL and BAA merged to become the NBA in 1949.
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1. Los Angeles Lakers
Official web page
The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles, California. They play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association. The Lakers play their home games at Staples Center. The Lakers are one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA, and have won 16 NBA championships, their last being in 2010. As of 2013, the Lakers are the second most valuable NBA franchise according to Forbes, having an estimated value of $1 billion. The franchise began with the 1947 purchase of a disbanded team, the Detroit Gems of the NBL. The new team began playing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, calling themselves the Minneapolis Lakers in honor of the state's nickname, "Land of 10,000 Lakes". Initially a member of the National Basketball League, the Lakers won the 1948 NBL championship before joining the rival Basketball Association of America and winning five of the next six BAA and NBA championships in Minneapolis after the NBA formed in 1949. The team was propelled by center George Mikan, who is described by the NBA's official website as the league's "first superstar".