Greater Los Angeles, also called the Southland, with a 2019 population of 18,710,563, is the second-largest urban region area in the United States, encompassing five counties in southern California extending from Ventura County in the west to San Bernardino County and Riverside County on the east, with Los Angeles County in the center and Orange County to the southeast. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Los Angeles–Anaheim–Riverside combined statistical area covers 33,954 square miles (87,940 km2), making it the largest metropolitan region in the United States by land area. However, more than half of this area lies in the sparsely populated eastern areas of Riverside and San Bernardino counties. In addition to being the nexus of the world's largest entertainment industry, Greater Los Angeles is also a global center of business, international trade, education, media, fashion, tourism, science and technology, sports, and transportation. It is the 3rd largest metropolitan area by nominal GDP in the world with an economy exceeding $1 trillion in output.
There are three contiguous component metropolitan areas in Greater Los Angeles: the Inland Empire, which can be broadly defined as Riverside and San Bernardino counties; the Ventura/Oxnard metropolitan area (or Ventura County); and the Los Angeles metropolitan area (also known as Metropolitan Los Angeles or Metro LA) consisting of Los Angeles and Orange counties only. The Census Brueau designates the latter as the Los Angeles–Long Beach–Anaheim metropolitan statistical area, the fifth largest metropolitan area in the western hemisphere and the second-largest metropolitan area in the United States, with a total area of 4,850 square miles (12,561 km2). San Diego–Tijuana, though contiguous with Greater Los Angeles at San Clemente and Temecula, is not part of it, but together both form part of the Southern CaliforniaMegalopolis.
Throughout the 20th century, Greater Los Angeles was one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States, but growth has slowed since 2000. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the smaller Los Angeles metro area had a population of nearly 13 million residents. In 2015, the Greater Los Angeles population was estimated to be about 18.7 million, making it the second largest metropolitan region in the country, behind New York, as well as one of the largest megacities in the world. (Full article...)
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 centerGeorge Mikan, who is described by the NBA's official website as the league's "first superstar". After struggling financially in the late 1950s following Mikan's retirement, they relocated to Los Angeles before the 1960–61 season.