It all started in 1947 when two Minnesotans, Ben Berger and Morris Chaffen, decided to buy a recently-disbanded basketball franchise from the then National Basketball League. The franchise was newly-named the ‘Lakers’ in reference to Minnesota’s nickname ‘The Land of 10,000 Lakes’.
The following years of the Lakers from 1957 did not go well. Attendance at their games took a dive, which cost them dearly. A business group led by Bob Short bought the team and kept it in Minneapolis.
In 1958, the Major League Baseball team Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, California and became a huge financial success. This did not escape Bob Short’s notice, and he decided to move the franchise to Los Angeles before the 1961 season.
This made the L.A. Lakers the NBA’s first West Coast team. There were not many natural lakes found in Southern California, but the team retained its name even in the following years of its existence in the basketball scene.
The actual font used for the logo is called Bodoni by Linotype and is available for purchase. For a free version that looks just as good, you can try ParmaPetit by Manfred Klein, or NBA Lakers by Eriq P. Jaffe.