Monday, January 18, 2010

Lakers Courts of the 1960s and '70s (Sports Arena and Forum)

While visiting my parents in Los Angeles over the holidays, I found some Lakers' team pictures from my childhood and teenage years, in my old room. As shown below, the pictures pretty well capture the Laker courts of the 1960s and '70s (you can click on the photo montage to enlarge it). Having moved to L.A. from Minneapolis for the 1960-61 season, the Lakers played their first seven seasons in La-La Land at the Sports Arena. They then moved to the newly contructed Forum in 1967, which is where they stayed until 1999 (team history).

The Sports Arena floor can be seen in the 1966-67 picture (white home uniforms with blue trim). The latter two photos are from the 1970-71 and 1977-78 teams, who sported yellow home uniforms with purple trim at the Forum. By clicking on the year-specific links, you can see the roster for the respective season.

The close-ups of the Forum center circles are from two of the team pictures. The major change in the floor from the early to the late 1970s was the shift from black trim with the focal yellow to orange trim (neither black nor orange being a team color, by the way). The Forum court changed a little more during the 1980s and '90s, primarily the out-of-bounds area becoming purple (instead of the prior yellow), but the center-court area didn't appear to change much (see the ending of the final game at the Forum, in the 1999 playoffs, in this YouTube video).

Starting with the 1999-2000 season, the Lakers moved to the newly constructed Staples Center in downtown L.A., where their center-court decoration is simply the team logo (a basketball with "LAKERS" on it).

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