George Mikan, who was the leagues best player and most recognized face, and the most recognized face of the early NBA, would get to the Lakers because of events of the PBLA. When the PBLA the NBL got the rights to the PBLA players, and the worst of the NBL teams would get the first pick. The worst NBL team from the previous season was the Detroit Gems, who had won just 4 games. The Gems had moved during the off-season to Minneapolis and became the Lakers.
Many interesting people would be associated with the PBLA; besides Mikan. Dutch Dehnert, one of the great Original Celtics would be the general manager of the Chattanooga Majors, and the eventual 38th president of the United State Gerald Ford Jr was the general manger of Grand Rapids.