A list like the 10 greatest Los Angeles Lakers of all time features a list of players that span multiple eras. Kobe Bryant represents the present day purple and gold, and although he’s sitting out the remainder of the 2014-15 season after suffering a torn rotator cuff injury on a dunk attempt, his accomplishments speak for themselves. Many are questioning if the Lakers should consider moving on from Kobe Bryant as part of a transition into a rebuild through the draft and attracting some free agents to play for one of sports' most storied franchises. Kobe's Lakers are currently in one of their rare dry spells, so perhaps it's time for Lakers fans to take a peek back into the past to remember their perennial glory years.
We’ll get to more on Kobe in a little bit, but in the mean time, there are several other greats worth noting. Kobe’s other half from the early 2000s, Shaquille O’Neal is one of them. Sure he couldn’t knock it down from the charity stripe to save his life, but nobody could stop Diesel in the paint. While he and Kobe couldn't stand each other, they made for a tremendous duo on the court which helped them build their dynasty of the new millennium.
Then of course there’s Magic Johnson. Not only was he a great talent, he has been an ambassador for those suffering from HIV and AIDS since his early retirement, and has taken his success on the court to the business world, operating several profitable ventures and purchasing a piece of the MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers. We’ll get to exactly why he’s on this list in a moment.
Like any other all time list, there also have to be some players who get left off. A.C. Green and Byron Scott are two of them. Scott may still have a chance to get on it if he starts winning titles as the coach of the team, but given Kobe’s injury and the fact the franchise is presently in disarray, that’s not happening any time soon. That said, some of the fine players on this list did make an impact as a coach and further their standing as one of the greatest Lakers ever because of it, namely Kareem Abdul Jabaar.
Now that we’ve got all of that sorted out…here’s the list…
10 George Mikan
9 Michael Cooper
8 James Worthy
7 Elgin Baylor
6 Shaquille O’Neal
5 Jerry West
4 Wilt Chamberlain
3 Magic Johnson
2 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
1 Kobe Bryant
The greatest Laker of all time is a title up for debate in the eyes of some, but we’re giving it to Kobe Bryant. He recently passed none other than Michael Jordan in points scored with 32,482 and counting. He has five championship rings and two Finals MVP awards to go with countless All-Star appearances. He also won the regular season MVP award in 2008. Kobe’s peers around the NBA, other greats from the past and former Lakers have all acknowledged him as one of the greatest of all time, including: Jerry West, Magic Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal. It’s safe to say Kobe is simply the best, at least in the eyes of other greats.
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