John A. Kundla
At the tender age of 31, John Kundla was named coach of the newly formed Minneapolis Lakers. Despite his youth, he displayed sound judgement and was keenly aware of the game's ebb and flow. Even though he was only a few years older than some of his players, the humble and quiet Kundla always kept an even demeanor on the court and his style easily adapted to the changing breed of professional athletes. During his time in Minneapolis, Kundla coached six Hall of Famers – Elgin Baylor, Clyde Lovellette, Slater Martin, George Mikan, Vern Mikkelsen, and Jim Pollard. His teams benefited from his strict adherence to defense and his attention to disciplined basketball. As a result, he became one of only three coaches in the history of the NBA to guide teams to three consecutive world championships. Even more impressive was the fact that Kundla sustained the Lakers championship play through three league changes, first from the NBL to the BAA and then during the merger of the NBL and the BAA to form the NBA.
BornJuly 03, 1916 Star Junction, PA
DiedJuly 23, 2017
CollegeMinnesota St. Thomas (MN)
Professional CareerMinneapolis Lakers