Top 5 Lefties in Los Angeles Lakers History

Top 5 Southpaws in Los Angeles Lakers History

Lamar Odom, Los Angeles Lakers
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As today is National Left-Handers Day, and being a southpaw myself, why not look back on the greatest lefties in the history of the Lakers? Here are the top five, with an honorable mention to start.

Honorable Mention: Julius Randle

Julius Randle, Los Angeles Lakers
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Honorable Mention: Julius Randle

Julius Randle, Los Angeles Lakers
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As Randle has yet to play an official game in a Lakers uniform, naming him alongside the greatest lefties in the history of the franchise doesn’t make much sense. He’ll have some big shoes to fill as the list features some of the most well-liked players in the history of the city and some who helped revolutionize the way the game is played. No pressure, Julius!

5. Anthony Peeler

Anthony Peeler
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5. Anthony Peeler

Anthony Peeler
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Draft 15th overall in 1992, Peeler was a member of the Lakers during their mediocre but entertaining stretch in the 90s before acquiring Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. In four seasons in L.A., he averaged 10.4 points per game, shooting 45 percent from the field and broke the Lakers’ record for three-point shooting by a rookie. He would go on to have a 13-year career playing for four other teams.

4. Sam Perkins

Sam Perkins, Los Angeles Lakers
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4. Sam Perkins

Sam Perkins, Los Angeles Lakers
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“Sleepy” Sam Perkins played a total of 17 seasons in the NBA, three of which were for the Lakers. In those three seasons, Perkins averaged 14.6 points, eight rebounds and one block per game. Perkins also helped revolutionize the game with his shooting ability from the power forward and center positions. Today’s stretch fours and fives have Perkins to thank in part for that positional flexibility.

3. Nick Van Exel

Nick Van Exel
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3. Nick Van Exel

Nick Van Exel
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“Nick the Quick”, as dubbed by famous play-by-play announcer Chick Hearn, has to be mentioned among the coolest guards in Lakers history. He was more than his smooth nickname, though. Van Exel averaged 15.4 points and 7.5 assists per game. He was also known for late-game heroics including the last basket ever by a Laker at the Boston Garden – a game-winning three-pointer.

2. Gail Goodrich

Gail Goodrich
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2. Gail Goodrich

Gail Goodrich
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Goodrich spent a total of 12 years in Los Angeles (three for UCLA, nine for the Lakers) and might be one of the city’s most underrated athletes in its impressive history. He averaged 19 points per game spending time at both guard positions from 1966 to 1976 and was traded to the New Orleans Jazz for the draft pick that would bring back Magic Johnson. Goodrich also could be considered one of the first combo guards in NBA history.

1. Lamar Odom

Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Kobe Bryant
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1. Lamar Odom

Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Kobe Bryant
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Odom’s tenure in L.A. started out with some size 23 shoes to fill. He was the centerpiece of the trade that sent Shaq to Miami once O’Neal’s relationship with Kobe had reached the point of no return. Odom returned to Los Angeles after having been drafted originally by the Clippers. He turned things around, though, winning two titles and a Sixth Man of the Year award. His honesty and trusting nature made him an all-time favorite among Laker fans.

Anthony F. Irwin is an NBA writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.