With Los Angeles' win on Tuesday night, LeBron James and the Lakers were the final piece of the California puzzle. The win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, while not exactly the most convincing of triumphs, secured LA's spot in the NBA Playoffs.
They join the Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers, and Golden State Warriors as the fourth Cali squad to get an invite to be among the NBA's final 16. Having all four of those teams in the postseason has never happened in the history of the NBA.
For the first time ever, all four NBA teams in California have made the playoffs in the same season. pic.twitter.com/4YmlgRQNWr
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 12, 2023
It's somewhat poetic for the Lakers to be the last ones in. As the franchise with by far the most historical success amongst the four, they're no strangers to making the playoffs. Yet this season, they were last to the dance.
The other LA team is statistically most to blame for the California quartet never making playoff music together before. The Clippers have only made the playoffs in 16 seasons total, which is even less than the total number of years the Lakers won the title.
When the Clippers finally had their best run of playoff appearances in the 2010s, the Kings were the ones wandering the regular season desert without ever escaping over the past 16 years.
The Warriors may be the defending champions and now postseason mainstays, but they've had several stretches of seasons wherein they couldn't muster a winning team in decades past.
With all California teams fielding legitimate playoff rosters, there's a good chance we see some intrastate action in the years to come.