The LA Lakers have won the NBA championship a record 17 times (including one NBL championship) and have 32 Western Conference titles and 23 Pacific Division titles since their founding in 1946. Miami Heat is a newer team — founded in 1988 — and have won 2 NBA championships, 9 Atlantic Division titles and 3 Eastern Conference titles. Today, Miami Heat is one of the strongest teams in the NBA with the "big three" players - LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade - on the team.
The Lakers were founded in 1947, when a disbanded team, the Detroit Gems, were purchased and moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota. They won five championships in Minneapolis, before facing financial struggles in the late 1950s and moving to LA for the 1960-61 season. Their name came from the fact that Minnesota was known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.”
Before 1987, Florida did not have an NBA Francise. Several groups vied for the chance to establish a franchise, and The Miami Sports and Exhibition Authority eventually received financial backing from Carnival Cruise Lines founder Ted Arison to found Miami Heat. The Heat joined the NBA in the 1988-9 season, and had an unproductive first year, losing its first 17 games. They rose to prominence beginning in 1995, when Pat Riley became their coach, moving from the New York Knicks.
The Lakers have 23 Division Titles, most recently in 2000, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Miami Heat have won 9 Division Titles: in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2012.
The Lakers have 32 Conference titles, most recently in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Miami Heat hold three Conference Titles: 2006, 2011 and 2012.
The Lakers have won 17 championships, including 1 NBL championship in 1948, before the NBA was formed. Since then, they have won in 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1972, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010.
Miami Heat have won the championships twice: once in 2006 and once in 2012.
A look at the Top 10 NBA plays for Miami Heat from the 2012 Season:
A look at the Top 10 NBA plays of LA Lakers from the 2012 Season:
Lakers vs Miami Heat: Head-to-head record
The Heat and the Lakers have played 50 season games against one another, with the Lakers winning 30 games and Miami Heat winning 20. They have never played against one another in the NBA play-offs.
Since 2010, when LeBron, Bosh and Wade joined the Heat, forming an all-star team, the two teams have played against one another 6 times, with Heat winning 5 games, and the Lakers winning only 1.
2012 regular season stats
17 Lakers players have become Hall of Famers. These include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Gail Goodrich, Connie Hawkins, Magic Johnson, Clyde Lovellette, Karl Malone, Slater Martin and Bob McAdoo. Current players include Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.
The Heat have had one Hall of Famer: point guard Nick Nelson. Former All Stars on the Miami Heat include Tim Hardaway and Alonzo Mourning. Their current roster includes LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.
15 time All Star Shaquille O'Neal has played and won championships on both the Heat and the Lakers.
The Lakers also have a famous rivalry with the Boston Celtics. The two teams have met a record 12 times in the NBA finals, beginning in 1959. They also have a rivalry with the Los Angeles Clippers, with whom they share an arena, and the San Antonia Spurs, who they have met in the NBA Playoffs five times since 1999.
The Heat have a notable rivalry with the New York Knicks, which begar with four consecutive playoff series together from 1997 to 2000. Each series went to the maximum number of games, and came after a feud between Pat Riley, Heat coach and coach of the Knicks from 1991 to 1995, and his successor at the Knicks, Jeff Van Gundy. The series had several outbreaks of physical violence, leading to the suspension of players. The rivalry reignited when Heat signed LeBron James after much speculation that he would join the Knicks. They also have a rivalry with the Chicago Bulls, after the Heat were eliminated three times by the Bulls in the 1990s, and with Boston Celtics, who they first met in the playoffs in 2010.
According to Forbes, the Heat are the 7th most valuable basketball team, worth $425 million. The Lakers are the 2nd most valuable team, worth $643 million.
The Lakers play at the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles. It opened in 1999 and seats up to 19,060 people. It is also home to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Sparks and the Los Angeles Kings.
The Heat play at American Airlines Arena, in Miami, Florida. It holds 19,600 people.