Debate: What Is Your All-Time Lakers 3-on-3 Team?

Debate: What Is Your All-Time Lakers 3-on-3 Team?


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Topic: We wonder which three Lakers of all-time would people choose to create their ultimate 3-on-3 team.

Context: This weekend in downtown Los Angeles, the Nike 3-on-3 basketball tournament is taking place as a number of players of all ages, skills, shapes, and sizes put together teams to find out who is the best.

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Obviously basketball is still basketball, but playing a half-court game of 3-on-3 is much different than playing a 10-man, full court basketball game.

With only half of the court to work with and no way to build momentum on a fast break, one-on-one playmaking and shot-making are both at a premium.

Additionally, versatility and quick thinking are extremely important as players must quickly move from offense to defense and a mere second of indecisiveness can cause your team to give up a basket.

As with all basketball, an excellent shooter can completely change the outlook of a game. Needless to say, simply picking the best players may not be the surefire way to ensure victory.

Verdict: We went to Twitter and asked the Lakers Nation faithful, which three Lakers would they choose for their all-time 3-on-3 team? These are some of the responses:

These fans clearly had two players in mind over everyone else as Kobe Bryant or Magic Johnson was on nearly every team. Many people had both Kobe and Magic with a big man, either Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Shaquille O’Neal. In theory, a team of Magic, Kobe, and either Shaq or Kareem would seem to be dominant, but personally, I’m not sure it would be the best choice.

My main problem with a team of that nature is that there is no lights-out shooter on that team. I would also worry that Shaq or Kareem would be stuck down low, unable to create outside of the paint, and further clogging an already smaller court.

One could clearly argue that Shaq or Kareem would be so unstoppable down low that it doesn’t matter, and it would be hard to dispute that. It is a thin line without a doubt.

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At the end of the day, my all-time team would start with Kobe Bryant, as his competitiveness, defense, and one-on-one skill would be absolutely perfect for this type of game.

Instead of Magic, I would go with Jerry West, who gives me the knockdown shooter I need, while not sacrificing playmaking, and probably improving defense.

The big man choice was the toughest as I wanted to get someone who could control the paint, but not be stuck down low, and finally, the perfect choice popped in my head, Lamar Odom.

Odom is the perfect big man for a 3-on-3 game. He is tall and long enough to patrol the paint, and offensively skilled enough to attack from the post or outside, opening up the floor for the rest of the team. A little weird without a doubt, but I fully believe that my team could succeed in any environment.


Kobe Bryant Answers Fan’s Questions, Talks Keys To The Game

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  • Harry Chen

    with shaq and kareem, they just have to stay in the paint.. because no 3 second in 3-on-3, right?

    • karl

      well there isn’t a 3 second rule neither.

    • Josh

      Someone has to guard shooters, though. I say put the most dominant big (Shaq) with two 3-and-D types for the ultimate 3-on-3 team.

  • Kale Pinder

    What about Shaq-West-Kobe. Scoring is the goal isnt it? Plus nobody is going into the paint.

  • Dana

    It’s hard to not include Kobe, but I might have to go with three Showtime players: Magic, Wilkes and Kareem.

    I chose Kareem over Shaq because of free throw percentage and because Cap’s game is much more versatile. I chose Magic over Kobe because Magic is bigger, a better passer and just as good a scorer as Kobe (or MJ) when he wants to be. And I chose Silk for his 20-foot layup and good defense. And I put the three of them together because even though individually they might not be the top one-on-one choices, these three would be an incredible *team*.

    But there are so many good combinations, it’s hard to go wrong. Except with Odom. It’s nuts to include Odom.

    • Eric

      Why do you choose because of free throw percentage. This is a 3-3 and noone is going on the line.

  • Dana

    What about Lakers v. Lakers? How about Magic, West and Kareem vs. Kobe, Worthy and Shaq?

  • Dana

    Gotta go with the greatest Lakers starters of all time, Kurt Rambis, Smush Parker and and Kawme Brown. Bwahahahaha!!!

    • Graham Thordarson

      Lumping Rambis in with Kwame and Smush? What are you, a Celtics fan? Rambis was a valued member of the Showtime Lakers. Magic said nobody could get the ball off a made basket or offensive rebound and outlet quicker than Rambis. He was a key to the fast break in those situations. Plus, he gave us that tough, scrappy energy on the court. Kwame and Smush? What an insult!

  • Dana

    Ok, how about Steve Nash, Jerry West and Karl Malone.

  • Dana

    Just to pick some no one else will, I’m going with Dennis Rodman, Metta World Peace and Pistol Pete Marovich in their prime.

    • Josh

      Maravich never played for the Lakers, and the other two were nowhere near their primes with the team…and also weren’t around very long.

      • Dana

        Right about Maravich, my bad.

  • ViceVersa

    Wilt, Kareem and Shaq !!! unstoppable

    • Dana

      Unless the opponents just camp out behind the 3-pt. line and hoist threes.

  • Dana

    Magic, Kobe, Kareem.

  • BestxInTheWorld

    Magic, Kobe, Wilt

    • vdogg


    • Eman94

      I thought I was the only one who thought of this trio haha

  • Leoki Lenz

    3-on-3 means a bunch of iso’s and one-on-one defense. I would go with Kobe, Worthy, and Kareem. If it were half court I’d put Shaq in for Kareem and just keep feeding the beast!

  • Spade

    Wilt, West, Magic

  • Teach

    Magic, Kobe, and Kareem. Three super intelligent players..

  • Josh

    Give me Magic, Kobe, and Shaq any day. Or if the author wants a 3-on-3 matchup against his team, I’ll take any two guards (Smush and the current version of Steve Nash will do just fine) with Shaq.

  • Brodiac

    1. Magic – 6’8″ PG. Very quick in his prime, secondary rebounder, no-look passes, attitude, a genius on the court.
    2. Kareem- two words……SKY HOOK. All day, every day. Long, lengthy defender/rebounder/shot blocker.
    3. Any scrub, because the first two would be like…
    “Magic to Kareem…sky hook. Magic to Kareem…sky hook. Magic to Kareem…sky hook. The third guy would be inbounding the ball!

    • Dana

      Truer words were never spoken. Lol!

    • Duckathon

      Yeah, one dominant big is all that is needed.

  • Tundraboy

    Magic Kareem,Worthy? But I’m old school so West,Elgin and Wilt.


    Magic Kobe or West ,Kareem Oh well. Just impossible to pick so have to say Magic,Kareem and Kobe

  • Bruce


  • Eman94

    Kobe, Magic, Wilt

    • Dana

      Wilt was great in his day, but he couldn’t keep up with Shaq in today’s league. Don’t see how you can pick Wilt over Shaq.

      • lance richards

        Hi, Dana. Do you mean stamina? Wilt holds the record for most minutes in a season; in fact, he holds the first 5 records for most minutes in a season! Granted, he did this with Philly, but he continued his great minutes per season output with the LA Lakers, racking up similar outputs to capture several top 25 all-time most season minutes records with the Lakers. But in the top 100 most-minutes-in-a-season NBA records, Shaquille O’Neal is Nowhere to be found. How come? Part of the answer may have been his weight; he was too overweight, as some past coaches said about him. Further, his stamina may simply not have matched Wilt’s. In fact, in interviews, a number of top NBA players AND NBA coaches have asserted that Wilt’s strength and stamina were so superior, he would’ve run Shaq ragged–the opposite of your contention. These are NBA players and coaches who know the game and players inside out. So I must differ strongly with you on this one. Wilt not only was great in his day, he would even have been more dominant in today’s game vs other centers.

        • Dana

          Lance, I’m not really picking stamina, I mean more comparing their talents considering the changes in the game and league over the last fifty years. I think it was a different game back then. Films show the early Wilt Chamberlain posting up with ease, without defenses fronting or double-teaming, and receiving uncontested entry passes. Wilt would then hook, finger-roll or even dunk against the overmatched lone defender. Wilt faced the customary passive one-on-one defense of the time. Players are bigger and stronger now, and defenses more aggressive and sophisticated. Once coaches started responding to Wilt’s dominance, his numbers per game dropped dramatically. Wilt’s 50.4 ppg, incredible as it was, must be seen in context: He dominated relatively primitive opposition, and in subsequent seasons his dominance decreased as defenses improved. His stamina was unreal, though (especially with the ladies 😉 ), and his speed was probably better than any center today.

          • Graham Thordarson

            Yeah, ’cause you really get a lot of double teaming in a 3 on 3 game.

  • Johnny

    I guess Wilt was to weak down low for this discussion. Kobe and Lamar have no business in this survey. Wilt, Kareem, Shaq, West , Worthy and Magic are the true Laker heroes.

  • Ethan

    No way lamar odom best team for half court is easily west bryant wilt they key to halfcourt is offensive efficiency and rebounding because everyone is going to miss shots and wilt is the best rebounder and can block and score hands dowm best choice

  • lance richards

    Magic, Kobe, Wilt. Magic–assists; Kobe–offense; Wilt–King of rebounding, also a great playmaker and terrific strength on offense, along with shot blocking skills par excellence and superb stamina (minutes per game). So close between Kareem and Wilt. Hurts not to include West too. Subs allowed?

  • Dominic

    i would say Kobe Shaq and Horry

  • wangkon936

    In 3-on-3, one-on-one match-ups are key, so… Magic, Kobe and Shaq. Kobe and Shaq are the Lakers’ best one-on-one match-up offensive players and Magic would find so many creases in a 3-on-3 environment for ridiculous passes it would be insane to watch.

  • KwonGuerillaCross

    SHAQ, KAREEM, WILT. No one would be able to score a point on them.

    • Duckathon

      Yep, all you need to to feed a big man andwatch them post up.

  • WPV

    Wilt, West and Kobe–no doubt about it

  • Duckathon

    A fun exercise, but an imagined 3-on-3 is a different beast than a NBA game. Not to mention players crossing over eras is an entirly different animal.


    Kobe-Shaq-Kareem if they can’t be stopped they can’t lose #Offensewinsgames

  • Josh

    I feel like this has happened in a game before, but how about Smush, Luke, and Kwame?

    • Josh

      Vs. Kobe

  • dingo

    Kareem, Kobe, Van Exel

  • Yo Mamma

    Shaq-Kobe-Magic… Dominant presence in the paint in Shaq, arguably the best 1v1 player in Kobe, and a player who can play every position in Magic

  • qwerty123

    Kwame Brown, Smush Parker, and Luke Walton

  • Richard

    I agree. Kobe, Magic and Shaq…..or Kareem

  • nikki

    odom , kobe , kareem

  • Ali

    Odom? Who agreed to pay this guy for his “insight”???

  • Nalin Shukla

    Wilt Kobe magic