With the retirement of Kobe Bryant on the immediate horizon we thought we’d take another look at the Top 10 Lakers of All-Time. Currently the Lakers trail the Celtics for the most NBA championship trophies, but through the years Los Angeles has dressed no shortage of NBA greats in their purple and gold jersey. The Lakers have won 16 NBA championships, have 21 current Hall of Fame inductees, and can count 8 players who were named to the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players of All-Time in 1996. And we know that number will only grow.
Starting with a basketball pioneer like George Mikan, who redefined the game playing in Milwaukee during the first few years of the NBA, to the mid-century greats like Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, and the indomitable Wilt Chamberlain, who made the Lakers the team to follow out west. Then came “ShowTime” and the 1980’s Lakers with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, James Worthy, Jamaal Wilkes, Michael Cooper, and Byron Scott, followed by the three-peat era players such as Shaquille O’Neal, Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol, and the already legendary Kobe Bryant. The list to pull from is as long and talented as it is storied.
But first a little background. With all such lists, the real issue was deciding who’s not going to make the Top 10 and that became more evident as we worked our way towards the end. We thought a better angle might be to use a consensus format, polling from lists generated by ESPN, HoopsHype.com, Bleacher Report, our entire staff, along with a L.A. Times Fan Poll, with each ranking list holding equal weight and averaged across the 5 sources.
We kept the general inclusion requirements fairly simple. Each player had to have played at least three seasons with the Lakers in order to be eligible. Our staff rankings weighed players MVPs and other individual accomplishments, franchise records, personal statistics while on the Lakers, career numbers, as well as player’s roles in the playoffs and championship runs.
During the process we were fortunate that passed Pau Gasol (who is now with the Chicago Bulls) and Kobe Bryant (who has already indicated that this would be his final season), we didn’t have too great dilemma of rating active Lakers players.
With that all said, we present the Top 10 Lakers of All-Time. Please scroll down to see our list.