The 2004–05 Los Angeles Lakers season was the 57th in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and 59th overall. The Los Angeles Lakers finished fifth in the Pacific Division. The season is best remembered as a tough one for the Lakers, winning only 34 games, missing the playoffs for the first time in 11 years. The off-season marked changes for the Lakers, who lost several members from the famed 2004 team: Rick Fox and Gary Payton were traded to the Boston Celtics, but Fox would retire before the season instead of suiting up for Boston, Shaquille O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat in exchange for Brian Grant, Caron Butler, and Lamar Odom after bad blood between himself and teammate Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher left for the Golden State Warriors, though he would return to the Lakers in 2007 and would eventually win two more championships, and Karl Malone retired in February 2005 after spending half of the season unsigned. The team hired Rudy Tomjanovich, who was well known for his tenure with the Houston Rockets, to be their new head coach for the upcoming season. But midseason, Tomjanovich once again resigned and Frank Hamblen took over for the rest of the season.
Kobe Bryant, for the sixth time in his career, did not make the All-NBA First Team.
Awards and records