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Top 10 Lakers Players of All Time

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Christopher S Lozano

In the NBA, superstars make champions. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 All-Time NBA Super Teams.


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Top 10 All-Time Lakers Players

Few franchises have been as successful as the Los Angeles Lakers. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 All-Time Lakers Players.

For this list, we’ll be looking at those players who accomplished the most with the team. So, if a great player has only recently joined the Lakers – such as LeBron James - they won’t be included.

#10: Byron Scott

A Los Angeles Native, Byron Scott was a 6-foot 3 shooting guard drafted out of Arizona State. He was originally selected by the Clippers but was traded to the Lakers for Norm Nixon. He would become a key component to the Laker’s championship-winning Showtime Era. Playing alongside greats such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson, he won three championships with the purple and gold. After his playing days, he would go on to coach, including a short stint overseeing the Los Angeles Lakers.

#9: George Mikan

The bespectacled center from DePaul played for the Lakers before their move to Los Angeles. As part of the Minneapolis Lakers, he scored over 1,000 points his first year, leading the league. The following year, when the team moved to the Basketball Association of America, he once again led the league in scoring. His most impressive performances, however, were in the finals, and he helped the Lakers make the championships across 3 different leagues. After his playing career, Mikan dabbled in politics and coaching.

#8: James Worthy

Big Game James is a fixture on the Laker’s postgame broadcasts, but before he was commenting for television, he was winning championships and Finals MVPs. The Small Forward was chosen by the Lakers as the first pick in the 1982 NBA Draft. Worthy quickly lived up to his name and was an immediate contributor to the Showtime Lakers, averaging 13.4 points per game. He would win 3 NBA championships with the Lakers and earned his “Big Game” nickname from several clutch performances in the playoffs.

#7: Elgin Baylor

This small forward was one of the best during the purple and gold’s early years, and he played alongside other big names like Jerry West. Elgin Baylor was part of the team when their rivalry with the Boston Celtics began after being on the losing end of the NBA’s first ever finals sweep. Over his career, Baylor would help lead the Lakers to the finals an astounding 8 times, though he would win none of them. After his playing career, Elgin Baylor also proved to be a great executive, serving as the vice president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Clippers.

#6: Jerry West

Jerry West was such an iconic player that they modeled the NBA logo after him, leading to one of his several nicknames. The Logo, Mr. Clutch, or Mr. Outside was drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers in 1960. Just like Elgin Baylor, West was part of the Lakers team that established one of the greatest rivalries in sports against the Boston Celtics. He is also the only player on the losing team to be awarded a finals MVP. After many failed trips to the finals, West finally won his championship ring in 1972.

#5: Wilt Chamberlain

Wilt the Stilt was one of the NBA’s most physically gifted athletes to ever play the game; a game that includes the likes of LeBron James and Shaq. At 7-foot 1 and listed at a modest 275 to 300 pounds, Chamberlain dominated the league. He started his career with the Harlem Globetrotters and won a championship with the Philadelphia 76ers before signing with the Lakers. He holds the record for most points scored in a game at 100, and is the only player to average more than 50 points a season. In addition to being a 2-time champion, he was also a 4-time NBA MVP.

#4: Shaquille O’Neal

In his prime, Shaq - or the Diesel - was known as the most dominant center ever. He played like it too, often battering and pounding his opponents and wearing them down both physically and mentally. When Jerry Buss brought him to the Lakers in 1996, he would become the foundation for the team’s resurgence and championship run. Paired with Kobe Bryant, the two formed the most feared duo of all time. He won 3 championships in a row with the Lakers, and even got his own video game, but the less said about that, the better….

#3: Kobe Bryant

Kobe earned his spot on this list by being one of the most feared scorers and defenders ever to play. Originally drafted by the Hornets, Kobe was immediately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. He would win 3 titles alongside Shaq, and then two more later in his career, totalling five. His cold-blooded approach to the game and controversies off the court have definitely tainted his legacy, but there’s no denying that his pure skill makes Bryant one of the all-time NBA Greats.

#2: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

You know you’re an amazing basketball player when you’ve been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama. Kareem the Dream won 5 championships with the Lakers, and holds the record for most points scored in a career at over 38,000. He was a key component to the Lakers Showtime Dynasty, and when he retired, he held the record for most games played in a career. With his unstoppable skyhook, many people consider Kareem to be the greatest player to ever walk onto the court.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are some honorable mentions.

Derek Fisher

Gail Goodrich

Pau Gasol

#1: Magic Johnson

Magic takes the top spot on this list for what he accomplished for the Lakers as a whole. Johnson is an all-time great, and won 5 Championships with the Lakers, in addition to being a 3-time MVP. Had he not been forced to retire early due to contracting HIV, there’s no doubt he could have accomplished even more. But Magic’s dedication to the Lakers has persisted even off the court. As an executive for the team, Johnson recently had a hand in bringing another great player to the franchise: LeBron James. For a generation of sports fans, Magic Johnson – and his friendly rivalry with Larry Bird - defined the NBA.


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