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Los Angeles Lakers New Lakers guard McKie
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Aaron McKie remembers the skinny teenager who would hang around the gym, playing pickup games at Temple a decade ago.
McKie will be reunited with that former basketball prodigy Kobe Bryant in the Los Angeles Lakers' backcourt this NBA season.
``He's a Philly guy, and we like to get after it. What player in the league wouldn't jump at the opportunity to play with Kobe ,'' said McKie, who inked a 2 year, $5 million contract with the Lakers after being waived by the Philadelphia 76ers.
McKie, who turns 33 in October, is a tall, experienced guard favored by Coach Phil Jackson, who's back with the Los Angeles after taking some time off. Jackson used Brian Shaw, then Ron Harper as the ``initiator'' in the Lakers' triangle offense.
``Judging from some of the guys who played here in the past, it extended their NBA careers and they were able to thrive in the triangle offense. I look at myself as being one of those guys,'' said the 6'- 5" McKie, who has averaged 7.6 pts, 3.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 11 NBA seasons.
Mitch Kupchak (general manager) believes Aaron's a fine fit in the Lakers triangle. ``We're very comfortable in where he is in his career and what we think he can bring to the organization for the next couple, 3 years, hopefully even beyond,'' ``From a leadership point of view, a defensive point of view, and being able to offensively run what we do here, there's no reason why he can't be very successful and help us right away.'' Kupchak said at a news conference with McKie.
Aaron's pleased he will be playing under Jackson . ``He's a winner. Everybody wants to be associated with winning. He's done it everywhere he went,'' McKie said. ``He's an interesting guy. You hear coaches on the sidelines, but you rarely hear him. ``But somehow, some way, he gets his players to understand him and buy into what he's trying to sell.''
McKie was slowed by a shoulder injury last NBA season and averaged career lows of 2.2 pts and 16.4 minutes. He scored 4,143 pts in 7 plus NBA seasons with the 76ers, and won the 2001 Sixth Man of the Year award when he helped them reach the NBA Finals, where the Los Angeles beat them in 5 games.
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The Lakers franchise predates the NBA. The Minneapolis Lakers' first season was 1947-48, when the team entered the National Basketball League. A strange series of events early that year landed the Lakers the biggest prize in the game at that time-center George Mikan. You can search for Basketball Tickets on this page. Click on any NBA Team link such as Lakers Tickets or Clippers Tickets to search for NBA Tickets for your team here. NBA All Star Game Tickets are available. We also purchase NBA Basketball Tickets plus all other Sports Tickets Concert Tickets and Theater Ticket. Lakers Schedule, and also Lakers Tickets
Mikan was a 6-10 giant of a man who had dominated college basketball in his four years at DePaul. He joined the Chicago American Gears at the end of the 1945-46 season, then led the Gears to the NBL Championship the following year.
Prior to the 1947-48 campaign Maurice White, president of the American Gear Company and owner of the Chicago team, pulled the club out of the NBL. White's plan was to create a 24-team circuit called the Professional Basketball League of America, in which he would own all of the teams and all of the arenas. But the new league lasted barely a month, and the players on White's teams were distributed among the 11 NBL franchises. The first-year Minneapolis Lakers landed Mikan strictly by chance.
The Lakers were a good team even without Mikan. The club featured a fine forward named Jim Pollard and one of the better playmakers in the league in Herm Schaefer. Coaching the squad was John Kundla, who had been hired away from the University of Minnesota. But once the bespectacled Mikan joined the Lakers there was no stopping them.
Minneapolis walked away with the NBL crown that season. After winning the Western Division by 13 games, the team disposed of the Oshkosh All-Stars, the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, and the Rochester Royals. Minneapolis lost only two games during the postseason, one in the first round and one in the finals against the Royals. Mikan paced the circuit in scoring during the regular season with 21.3 points per game and was tops in postseason play with an average of 24.4 points per contest.