Ever wonder about that jersey number 25 hanging from the Staples Center rafters? Gail Goodrich might be decades before your time, but this Hall of Famer was one of the league’s top guards in the 1970s. A territorial draft pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in 1965, the former UCLA guard had two very different stints with LA. His first three years he was largely a bench player before being taken by the Phoenix Suns in the expansion draft.
When he returned to LA in 1970, he’d help the Lakers to an NBA Championship and become one of the most respected guards of his time.
One of the all-time best left-handed guards to play for the Lakers, Goodrich joined the 50+ points in a game club, before the three-point shot was even adopted in the NBA, scorching the Kansas City Kings for a career-high 53 points back in 1975. Plus, how was Goodrich involved in the Lakers acquiring Magic Johnson?
And, remember the historic season where the Lakers recorded a 33-game winning streak during the regular season? Well, Goodrich was very much a part of that, scoring 30 points or more in a game 28 times and pushing the Lakers to the NBA Finals where they would meet the New York Knicks and eventually take the 1972 championship crown.
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