Top 10 Los Angeles Lakers of All-Time

Top 10 Los Angeles Lakers of All-Time

lakers

Los Angeles Lakers

Honorable Mentions:

20. Norm Nixon

19. Vlade Divac

18. Lamar Odom

17. Robert Horry

16. Michael Cooper

15. A.C. Green

14. Byron Scott

13. Derek Fisher

12. Jamaal Wilkes

11. Gail Goodrich

e893a3331d7a8211aebca42822b7a60b_crop_north

10. Pau Gasol

Years in Purple and Gold:

7 (2007-2014)

Stats w/ the Lakers: 

17.7 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 3.5 APG, 2.0 Stocks, 52.2 FG%

Many people may not agree with me on this, but I feel that Pau Gasol pushed his way into the Lakers’ Top 10 with his 2009 and 2010 playoff and regular season performance. On February 1, 2008, Gasol was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers along with a 2010 second round draft pick for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie, the rights to Marc Gasol (Pau’s younger brother), and 2008 and 2010 first round draft picks. The trade didn’t only bring Pau to the Lakers but it also kept Kobe Bryant in L.A which eventually built a long lasting relationship between the two on and off the court.

After arriving in Los Angeles in 2008, Pau Gasol, under the leadership of Kobe Bryant, helped bring two immediate championships to the Lakers in 2009 and 2010. In six-and-a-half seasons with the Lakers, Gasol averaged 17.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game and appeared in three All-Star games. His ability to make the immediate impact that he did solidifies his spot as the best Lakers power forward of all time and a top ten Laker in the franchises seasoned history.

Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 7.20.40 AM

9. George Mikan

Years in Purple and Gold:

7 (1948-1956)

Stats w/ the Lakers: 

23.1 PPG, 13.4 RPG, 2.8 APG, 40.4 FG%

Many say George Mikan changed the game of basketball. While that is a subjective point of view, it is safe to say Mikan was the dominant force of his time. “Mr. Basketball” forced teams to alter their style of play and changed the mindset that big men could not play basketball.

In Mikan’s first year in the newly formed NBA, he averaged 27 points per game and created a new statistic called rebounds – heard of it? Ha. In his second year, with rebounds now an official statistic, he averaged 14.1 rebounds per and 28 points a night. Mikan would go on to lead the new league in scoring for next four years and then would lead them in rebounding for the next two years. With Mikan manning the middle the Minneapolis Lakers won five of the league’s first titles including the NBA’s first ever three peat. The NBA had its first dynasty and the league was a certified success in its beginning years. Simply put he was the most dominant player on the most dominant team.

One of the benefits of playing during the infancy stages of the NBA is everything is new and there is no precedent set. This along with a league consisting of eight to ten teams allowed Mikan and the Lakers to appear far more superior then their competition. However, it was Mikan’s superiority that forced the NBA to adjust to a player who was abnormal in size then but would later become the norm. The widening of the lane gave opposing guards more opportunities to get to the rim and sped the game up. This rule change did not eliminate Mikan’s relevance but it did hamper it a bit on the offensive end. The introduction of the shot clock is another rule change that can be directly related to Mr. Basketball. Teams could no longer play “keep away” from great players, they would now be forced to at least attempt a shot. This attempt had to draw iron thus eliminating throwing it off of the backboard and securing the rebound.

For all of Mikan’s playing accomplishments he will be most remembered for one thing “the Mikan drill”. This is a drill where the player rebounds the ball with one hand and uses that same hand to lay the ball up. It is a drill that every post player is taught and depending on the player’s athletic prowess masters. Since it is a drill based on repetition and not skill most post players spend very little time developing it. This drill if used correctly could result in tremendous success. Mikan is one of the few players in league history who gave more to the game of basketball then he received.

la_50greats_08

8. James Worthy

Years in Purple and Gold:

12 (1982-1994)

Stats w/ the Lakers:

17.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.8 Stocks, 52.1 FG%

“Big Game James” Worthy, a key member of three Lakers title teams (1985, 1987, 1988), is one of the more popular players in Lakers history, still drawing cheers when he appears at the Staples Center to watch the Lakers. It was luck and skillful trading that put Worthy on the Lakers. In 1980, the Lakers sent Don Ford to the Cleveland Cavaliers for their first-round pick in 1982. That pick ended up being Worthy. Worthy retired in 1994 and was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003. He is one of only seven L.A. Lakers to have their number retired, six of whom are in the Times readers’ top 10. On the Lakers’ all-time list, Worthy is fourth in games played (926), seventh in field-goal percentage (52.1%), ninth in assists (2,791), third in steals (1,041), fifth in blocked shots (624) and sixth in points (16,320).

Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 7.26.58 AM

7. Wilt Chamberlain

Years in Purple and Gold:

5 (1968-1973)

Stats w/ the Lakers:

17.7 PPG, 19.2 RPG, 4.3 APG, 60.5 FG%

The Lakers acquired the already legendary center from Philadelphia on July 9, 1968, for center Darrall Imhoff, forward Jerry Chambers and guard Archie Clark. Chamberlain joined a team featuring fellow top 10 Lakers Jerry West and Elgin Baylor and was expected to be the key to an NBA title, but the Lakers lost to the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals in Chamberlain’s first season with the team, as he was neutralized effectively by Celtics center Bill Russell who was his long time rival who always got the best of him. Chamberlain missed most of the 1969-70 season with a knee injury, as again the Lakers lost in the NBA Finals, this time to the Willis Reed-led New York Knicks. It was more of the same after the 1970-71 season, this time a loss in the Western Conference finals to the Milwaukee Bucks. But the 1971-72 season was magic, with the team winning an unprecedented 33 games in a row, defeating Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the Bucks in the Western Conference finals and beating the Knicks in the NBA Finals. Chamberlain scored 24 points and 22 rebounds in the series-clinching Game 6. On the Lakers all-time leaders list, Chamberlain is first in field-goal percentage at 60.5%, fourth in rebounds (6,524), first in minutes per game (43.7) and first in rebounds per game (19.2).

.

Add Comment