Lakers All-Time First, Second, Third and Honorable Mention Teams
Norm Nixon – PG
Gail Goodrich – SG
James Worthy – SF
Vern Mikkelsen – PF
Shaquille O’Neal – C
The all-time second team boasts three players currently in the Hall of Fame and one future member, including a combined 13 championships won by the five players while they were in Los Angeles.
The toughest choice here was picking James Worthy over Elgin Baylor. Baylor’s statistics in both the regular season and playoffs were better than Worthy’s. He also made more All-Star and All-NBA Teams than Big Game James did. But Baylor is lacking something Worthy has three of: championship rings.
Almost tragically, Baylor retired nine games into the 1971-72 season, the same season the Lakers won their first title in Los Angeles.
Simply having more championships is not the only reason why I chose Worthy over Baylor.
Worthy is also associated with the “Showtime” era of the 1980s, which is widely considered the best period of basketball in team history.
Worthy would also occasionally outshine Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the biggest stages. The former North Carolina Tar Heel was named MVP of the 1988 NBA Finals, averaging 21 points, five rebounds and four assists in 24 postseason games that spring.
For casual fans, the names Norm Nixon and Vern Mikkelsen may not jump off the page.
Norm Nixon spent the majority of his days with the Lakers sharing the team’s point guard duties with Magic Johnson. Needless to say, many of his accolades while playing with the Lakers often go unnoticed.
Some of his accomplishments include: making the All-Rookie First Team in 1978, making the 1982 All-Star Team, leading the league in total steals (201) in 1978-79 and winning two championships (’80 and ’82).
Nixon led the team in scoring during the 1982 post-season, averaging 20.4 points a contest.
Vern Mikkelsen never once donned purple and gold, but he represented the blue and yellow valiantly. Mikkelsen spent his entire 10-year career with the Minneapolis Lakers, winning four championships and making four All-NBA Second Teams.
Mikkelsen and Minneapolis center George Mikan formed one of the first dominant frontcourt duos.
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