1980–81 Los Angeles Lakers season

A ticket for a March 1981 game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks.

The Lakers were attempting to become the first team since 1969 to repeat as NBA Champions. Despite missing Magic Johnson for 45 games due to a knee injury, the Lakers still managed an impressive 54-28 record during the regular season, and they were the #3 seed heading into the Western Conference playoffs. However, the underdog Houston Rockets eliminated the Lakers in a best-of-three first round series two games to one.

NBA Draft

The Lakers did not have a first round pick in the 1980 Draft. Their first selection was Wayne Robinson, the 31st pick overall, but he never played a game for the Lakers. Future NBA Coach Butch Carter was their second selection at #37 overall.


Roster listing
1980–81 Los Angeles Lakers roster
Pos.No.NameHeightWeightDOB (YYYY-MM-DD)From
C33Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem7 ft 2 in (2.18 m)225 lb (102 kg)1947–04–16UCLA
PF8, 40Brewer, Jim6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)210 lb (95 kg)1951–12–03Minnesota
SF24Carter, Butch6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)180 lb (82 kg)1958–06–11Indiana
PF9Chones, Jim6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)220 lb (100 kg)1949–11–30Marquette
SG21Cooper, Michael6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)170 lb (77 kg)1956–04–15New Mexico
SG25Hardy, Alan6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)195 lb (88 kg)1957–05–25Michigan
G14Holland, Brad6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)180 lb (82 kg)1956–12–06UCLA
SG32Johnson, Magic Injured6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)215 lb (98 kg)1959–08–14Michigan State
PG15Jordan, Eddie6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)170 lb (77 kg)1955–01–29Rutgers
PF54Landsberger, Mark6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)215 lb (98 kg)1955–05–21Arizona State
PG10Nixon, Norm6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)170 lb (77 kg)1955–10–11Duquesne
SF52Wilkes, Jamaal6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)190 lb (86 kg)1953–05–02UCLA
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

Last transaction: 1980–12–02

Roster Notes

  • Shooting guard Magic Johnson missed 45 games during the season after suffering a torn cartilage in his left knee on November 18 during a game against the Kansas City Kings.

Regular season

Season standings


  • z, y – division champions
  • x – clinched playoff spot

Record vs. opponents

Game log


West First Round

(3) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (6) Houston Rockets: Rockets win series 2-1

  • Game 1 @ Los Angeles: Houston 111, Los Angeles 107
  • Game 2 @ Houston: Los Angeles 111, Houston 106
  • Game 3 @ Los Angeles: Houston 89, Los Angeles 86

Player statistics

Note: GP= Games played; MPG= Minutes per Game; REB = Rebounds; AST = Assists; STL = Steals; BLK = Blocks; PTS = Points; PPG = Points per Game

Award winners/Honors


Uses material from the Wikipedia article 1980–81 Los Angeles Lakers season, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.