Forum Blue?

Bill Bridges —  November 17, 2004

Commenter Icaros (who gets the honor of being the first commenter here, and with that a lifetime supply of Rice-A-Roni) asked about the name of this site. Then, my sports-knowledgeable wife asked me the same question: Don’t the Lakers wear purple not blue?

I only had to be hit in the head a couple times before dawned on me that some Laker fans who come here may not be familiar with the phrase “Forum blue and gold.”

It is a reference to the late, great Chick Hearn, who, back when the team played at the Fabulous Forum, used to refer to the home uniform colors as “Forum blue and gold.” Why? I’ll let commenter Jon explain”

Former Laker owner Jack Kent Cooke loved the color purple but, for whatever reason, refused to say that was the color he liked. He called it blue. So, to deal with the problem that the uniforms were clearly purple but the owner didn’t want it called that, Chick Hearn (or maybe Cooke himself) came up with calling the Laker purple “Forum blue.” And it stuck.

Gatinho adds to that:

Heisler says that Jack kent Cooke called it that, not Chick. (Chick and Cooke also fought over who called it the “Fabulous Forum” first, as well.) He changed the color to purple, “forum blue”, when he bought the team and built the Forum. The blue is obviously from the Minneapolis days and early LA days. Witness the Lakes wearing the powder blue ’56 uni’s this season.

Donovan Moore from the Society for Sports Uniform Research adds this:

“Forum Blue” was the designation given to the Lakers’ Purple back when they played at the old Forum – as many here have stated. That said, the “Forum Blue” designation was dropped after the 1979-1980 season; from 1980-1981 on, this color has been referred to as “Royal Purple”.

In addition, for a number of seasons starting around 1976-1977 through 2000-2001, the Lakers used a lighter shade of Purple for their logo as opposed to the Purple in their uniforms.

While the designation may have been officially dropped, Chick Hearn continued to use it all through the Showtime era and beyond. And, this blog’s name is a little tribute to him and Laker history.

Bill Bridges

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29 responses to Forum Blue?

  1. Aren’t Royal Blue and Purple similar? The website name works for me either way.

  2. The comments as stated by Lynn are correct. When JKC bought the Lakers he changed to color and insisted on referring it to blue and then Chick began calling it forum blue to justify the “blue”, and yes after 1971-72, Chick did on occasion call it championship gold. I have been a Lakers fan since 1962 was was raised on hoops by Sir Francis. In 1966 or ’67 after the Fab Forum opened, Chick’s wife wrote a booklet on basic basket knowledge for a fan, rules, hisotry and it had fantastic drawings illustrating explanation, they were given away free at Richfield-ARCO stations. I still have one.

    Old Laker Fogie

  3. Hi sirs,
    I don’t know if it is the right blog, but I would like to know if someone can help me to identified the following:
    often during the last season kobe was wearing – i assume – some protective apparel on bot legs (from the back to the ankles) , do you know the brand and the model of such equipment?
    thanks from italy, Stefano

  4. Stefano,

    Those are Nike “compression pants”. Go to eastbay.com and you will se a wide selkction of these and several other brands.

    Oh and they are banned in NBA next year.

  5. Great job guys… Thank for you work…

  6. Chicken or Egg – LA Basketball or LA Hockey

    Don’t forget that Cooke also owned the LA Kings, which wore these colors and played in the Forum in ’67. Many fans and analysts logically attribute the Kings’ colors to the historical colors of royalty (purple cloak, gold crown). Most basketball loving Americans would would want to beleive that the Kings were given the colors of the Lakers (making basketball king in the U.S.- pun intended). Perhaps the reverse is true, and the Lakers wear the colors of royalty after the Kings.

  7. all these things my very well be truth or fairy tales, all i know is the season starts soon (YEAH). and im not so sure a bout this #24 thing, but maybe itll grow on me.

  8. LAKERS R #1

  9. I would like to believe that Jack Kent Cooke must be rolling in his grave today watching the Lakers situation with KB24. An unworthy utilization of Forum Blue and Championship Gold… KB24 must go!

  10. How are you all on this fine, fine day?
    I’m doing quite well, and wanted to share the love.

  11. Hi, I was a rabid Lakers fan back in the early 1970s. To put someone through school, I am now selling on EBay a rare oersonal autograph that Jerry West gave me at the Fabulous Forum when I was 12. Thanks for reading.

  12. After Cooke had sold the team to Dr Buss. Chick ‘told all’ several times on his broadcasts.

    According to Chick, Cooke demanded he use blue for purple in describing the Lakers uniforms. Chick compromised with Cooke by inventing “Forum Blue” for purple to appease the boss.

  13. Why isn’t Ronny back starting? His ankle is fine, and Radmanovich has been horrible in his place.

  14. Этот Новый год мы всей семьей (я, жена, две дочки 6 и 8 лет, тёща) будем отмечать дома. Развлекать девочек, конечно же, придется мне.

    Посоветуйте какие-нибудь игры или конкурсы для такой компании!

  15. #9 – You don’t speak for me… I hope Kobe will be a Laker for life. They are also playing pretty darn well right now – currently 23-11 with Andrew Bynum developing rapidly.

    I know you can put some blame on Kobe for wanting to trade Bynum but you can’t blame him for the sense of urgency and wanting immediate results – he represents me as a Laker fan by making such urges.

    Plus if you look back in history, superstars have commonly publicly disputed management… michael jordan and magic johnson are two great examples… how has history treated them?

    And how long will Dwayne Wade be able to walk Kobe’s beaten path of frustration before he too forces change? On that topic, the Heat’s 8-27 record puts Kobe’s accomplishments over the last couple of years into perspective. He was able to singlehandedly propel the Lakers into the playoffs of an extremely competitive Western Conference while Dwayne Wade’s Heat are scraping the bottom of the weaker East.

    Long live the Lakers.

  16. I watched or listened to Chick’s calls of every game back in the 60s and 70s. On TV, he frequently poked fun at the “blue” designation. “The Lakers are in their Forum Blue and Gold. Don’t adjust your sets, I think they’re purple too!”

  17. Did purple in the 60s have the “negative” connotations it has these days??? (Yeah, it’s supposed to be a girl color, and that Lukas dude on espn.com says it’s an abominable color, whatever) For a while now it’s been an unpopular color. There is a reason why the Diamondbacks in baseball (who won a WS with it) and the Utah Jazz in the NBA eliminated the color.

    Forum blue, forum purple, forum indigo, forum violet…

    …we still Kick Ole Butt Everytime, baby!!! Forza Giallo-Viola!!

    PS: Actually when I 1st watched the Lakers as a kid in the 80s (Magic, Kareem, Worthy, Rambis… holy smokes of a roster!), I thought the unis were blue, but purple synthetic fabrics look blue under halogen arena lights…

  18. Forum blue is the name of the home jersey ’cause the old Laker stadium was called The Forum.

  19. I only know that gold is the color of the ring that each of these darling, daring and dangerous LAKERS will be wearing soon…

  20. The 1962 Lakers had blue in their jerseys, as shown in this throwback jersey: http://www.anacondasports.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10201&categoryId=175653&langId=-1&sportId=49320&productId=145458

    Could that possibly have something to do with the “Forum Blue” designation?

  21. Troy O’Neill July 15, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    I’ve noticed while watching them on television the color seems to me to be almost more of a royal blue (which I tend to like better), but when buying Fan Gear it’s more purple. My wife noticed the same thing while trying to get my attention during the playoffs (not allowed in our house unless a fire or death in the family) So my question is: do they have a different color or does it look different on T.V ?

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  24. “Forum Blue” was the designation given to the Lakers’ Purple back when they played at the old Forum – as many here have stated. That said, the “Forum Blue” designation was dropped after the 1979-1980 season; from 1980-1981 on, this color has been referred to as “Royal Purple”.

    In addition, for a number of seasons starting around 1976-1977 through 2000-2001, the Lakers used a lighter shade of Purple for their logo as opposed to the Purple in their uniforms.

  25. My name is Sabrina and I’m new to this site.

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