The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most successful franchises in the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Over the years, the Lakers have won 17 NBA championships, the second-most by any team in NBA history, and have had many great players don the purple and gold jersey.
In this article, we will be looking at the top 9 Lakers of all time.
1. Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant is often regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He played his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, winning five NBA championships and two Olympic gold medals. Bryant was an 18-time NBA All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, and 12-time member of the All-Defensive team. He was also named the NBA Finals MVP twice.
Bryant had a career average of 25 points per game, with his highest-scoring season coming in 2005-06 when he averaged 35.4 points per game. He retired in 2016 as the third-leading scorer in NBA history. Off the court, Bryant was also known for his work as a writer, producer, and philanthropist. He tragically passed away in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020.
2. Magic Johnson
Magic Johnson is one of the most iconic players in NBA history. He played 13 seasons with the Lakers, winning five NBA championships and three NBA Finals MVP awards. Johnson was a 12-time NBA All-Star and a nine-time member of the All-NBA First Team. He was also a member of the US Olympic team that won the gold medal in 1992.
Johnson was known for his versatility on the court, as he played multiple positions and was a great passer, rebounder, and scorer. He retired in 1991 due to HIV but made a comeback in 1996, playing 32 games with the Lakers before retiring again.
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points. He played 14 seasons with the Lakers, winning five NBA championships and three NBA Finals MVP awards. Abdul-Jabbar was a 19-time NBA All-Star, a 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, and an 11-time member of the All-Defensive Team.
Abdul-Jabbar was known for his skyhook shot, which was nearly impossible to defend. He won six NBA MVP awards and was a key player in the Lakers’ Showtime era in the 1980s. After retiring from the NBA, Abdul-Jabbar became a coach and author.
4. Shaquille O’Neal
Shaquille O’Neal played eight seasons with the Lakers, winning three NBA championships and three NBA Finals MVP awards. He was a 15-time NBA All-Star and a member of the All-NBA First Team eight times. O’Neal was also named the NBA MVP in 2000.
O’Neal was known for his size and strength, as well as his charisma and personality off the court. He was one of the most dominant players in NBA history and was a key part of the Lakers’ three-peat in the early 2000s.
5. Jerry West
Jerry West played his entire 14-year career with the Lakers, leading them to nine NBA Finals appearances and winning one championship in 1972. He was a 14-time NBA All-Star, a 10-time member of the All-NBA First Team, and a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
West was known for his clutch performances and was nicknamed “Mr. Clutch” for his ability to hit game-winning shots. He was also a great defender and won the NBA Finals MVP award in 1969, despite the Lakers losing the series.
6. Wilt Chamberlain
Wilt Chamberlain played five seasons with the Lakers, winning one NBA championship and one NBA Finals MVP award. He was a 13-time NBA All-Star and a 10-time member of the All-NBA First Team. Chamberlain was also a four-time NBA MVP and won seven NBA scoring titles.
Chamberlain was known for his size and strength, as well as his ability to score and rebound. He is one of the greatest players in NBA history.
7. James Worthy
James Worthy played 12 seasons with the Lakers, winning three NBA championships and one NBA Finals MVP award. He was a seven-time NBA All-Star and a member of the All-NBA Third Team in 1992.
Worthy was known for his ability to score in big games and was a key player in the Lakers’ Showtime era in the 1980s. He averaged 21.1 points per game in the NBA Finals, including a 36-point performance in Game 7 of the 1988 NBA Finals.
In conclusion, the Lakers have had many great players over the years, but these nine stand out as the best of the best. Each of these players had a significant impact on the franchise and helped bring multiple championships to the city of Los Angeles. They will always be remembered as legends of the game and true Lakers icons.
8. Paul Gasol
Gasol was known for his versatility as a player, with the ability to play both power forward and center positions. He was a great scorer, rebounder, and passer, and his skills helped the Lakers dominate the Western Conference during his time with the team.
In the Lakers’ 2009 championship run, Gasol was a key player, averaging 18.3 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game during the playoffs. He also had a game-saving block in Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Orlando Magic.
Gasol was a four-time NBA All-Star during his time with the Lakers and was named to the All-NBA Second Team in 2011. He was also a member of the Spanish national team, winning two silver medals in the Olympics and one FIBA World Championship.
9. Gail Goodrich
Gail Goodrich played for the Lakers in two separate stints, from 1965-1968 and from 1970-1976. During his time with the team, he helped lead them to four NBA Finals appearances and two championships in 1972 and 1973.
Goodrich was known for his scoring ability, and he led the Lakers in scoring in the 1972 championship season with an average of 25.9 points per game. He was also a great ball-handler and passer, and he finished his career with an average of 4.6 assists per game.
Goodrich was a five-time NBA All-Star and was named to the All-NBA First Team in 1974. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996.
Goodrich’s contributions to the Lakers cannot be understated. He was a key player on two championship teams and played a vital role in the team’s success during the 1970s. He will always be remembered as one of the great Lakers players of all time.