The Los Angeles Lakers will retire club legend George Mikan’s jersey on October 30. Mikan is one of the most influential figures in basketball history as a pioneer and innovator of the game. Apart from that, he had a legendary career with the Lakers, contributing to 5 of the championship banners that hang in the Crypto.com arena today.
Mikan earned his accolades before the Lakers formed a team in sunny Los Angeles. In fact, the team was located in exactly opposite weather conditions in Minnesota. The reason the team is called the Lakers in a city without lakes is because the team was originally the Minneapolis Lakers.
Mikan’s jersey could have been retired a long time ago, but in true “better late than never” fashion, Mikan will finally be honored by the Lakers. The former NBA MVP passed away in 2005, so he won’t be there to attend the ceremony.
The indomitable legacy of George Mikan
Basketball history cannot be told without mentioning the contributions of George Mikan. A training drill he used to improve control while shooting with both hands is now known as Mikan Drill due to its impact. Anyone who has had any form of organized basketball training knows the Mikan Drill, as it is one of the most basic tools for developing a basketball player’s skills.
During his Lakers career, Mikan has achieved many incredible accomplishments. He has lifted 5 championship banners, is a former league MVP, attended multiple All-Star Games and even led the league in rebounding. Any modern player with a resume like this would be put into conversation as one of the greatest players of all time. He is one of the few players in NBA history to have won both the scoring title and the championship in the same year.
Mikan averaged 23.1 points and 13.4 rebounds during his NBA career. He’s a legend of the game, and the Lakers should definitely add another piece of history to their brilliant section of retired jerseys.