5 Best Los Angeles Lakers of All-Time
Top 5 Los Angeles Lakers of All-Time
LeBron James and Kevin Durant are the new faces of the NBA. Kobe Bryant seems to be on his last leg, which brings the question of where he ranks among the greatest Los Angeles Lakers of all-time.
Nobody can deny that the Lakers are one of the two best franchises in the history of the NBA along with the Boston Celtics. Ever since the 1940's when they were the Minneapolis Lakers they have been considered a dynasty. In order to get to the level that they have, they have needed some stars to catapult them to their 16 NBA Championships. With seemingly an unlimited amount of money to spend, it has been easy for the Lakers to land some of the most iconic players in the game. Once a star retires or leaves, they can just open their pocketbooks and write the check to sign another great player.
If you were to ask the casual basketball fan who the Top 5 NBA players of all-time were, you would get a wide range of answers. The same would happen if you asked who the Top 5 Lakers of all-time were. One thing is for sure; you couldn't go wrong with any of the great players that have played in Hollywood. With stars from the 1940's till now, they have collected All-Star after All-Star. Creating a list of the best Lakers took serious time and thinking about the history of the franchise. Then narrowing the list down to the best five was even more difficult.
#5 Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O'Neal comes in at #5 on the top Lakers of All-Time. Winning back to back to back championships with Kobe Bryant from 2000-02 made Shaq an iconic player for the purple and gold. These two teammates had their feuds on and off the court, but nobody can argue that they are one of the best duos to ever play the game.
Shaq also won an MVP in the 1999-00 season with Lakers by putting up 29.7 PPG with along with a ridiculous 13.6 RPG. The Big Diesel is considered one of the best centers to ever play the game, and if he would have spent more of his career with the Lakers, he could be a few spots higher.
#4 Jerry West
The NBA logo comes in at #4 of the greatest Lakers ever. Jerry West played his entire 14-year career with the Lakeshow. West racked up an All-Star appearance in each season he played along with nine NBA Finals appearances. If it hadn't been for the Celtics' dominance in the 60's-70's West would have received more than one championship under his belt.
His career averages were a staggering 27.0 PPG, 6.7 APG, and 5.8 RPG. West may not get recognition as one of the best players ever, but nobody else can say they are the NBA logo.
#3 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
The inventor of the "Skyhook" comes in at #3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is considered the best center to ever play the game. In his career he accomplished five NBA championships as well as six MVPs. Not to mention an unthinkable 19 All Star appearances.
Kareem is the All-Time Leading Scorer in NBA history with scoring 38,387 points in his career. If there weren't two other better Lakers, Kareem could easily be #1.
#2 Kobe Bryant
We have learned over the years that the “Black Mamba” has more competitive juices flowing through him than anyone we have ever seen. That's why Kobe Bryant is the second greatest player to ever play for the Lakers.
In his 17 seasons with the organization, Kobe has gone through many ups and downs along the way. Five championships, an MVP, a pair Finals MVPs, and 15 All-Star appearances is a pretty impressive resume for an entire roster, let alone a single player. Let's not forget that Bryant is currently fourth in All-Time scoring. If he ends up passing Kareem, we could be talking about Kobe being the greatest Laker ever.
#1 Magic Johnson
#1 has a statue outside the arena for a reason. Earvin “Magic” Johnson is the Greatest Laker of All-Time. In his 12 seasons with the Lakers Magic was the ultimate utility player. He was LeBron before LeBron. There wasn't a thing he couldn't do on the court. If his career wasn't shortened by HIV, he would have shattered multiple records including assists which he averaged 11.2 per game throughout his career. Despite the lack of length in his career he still was able to accomplish three MVPs along with five NBA Championships.
Yes, Magic was a great player, but ultimately it was his personality that bolstered him into such a hero and legend. We still get to see him to this today covering NBA for ESPN.