Are you ready for the most basic list of basketball players ever conceived? There’s no secret here, the Lakers are arguably the greatest NBA franchise of all time. Legends in which every sports fan knows the names of complete the list making it “basic”. Through great scouting, good management, and ownership, the Los Angeles Lakers have players coming out of their ears. Let’s get started, shall we?
I remember it like it was yesterday. My girlfriend and I went on a Sunday drive on a dreary morning in the Santa Monica mountains. We lost service for a good hour or so until my phone starting ringing off the hook. Then I heard the news. I couldn’t believe it. Kobe Bryant had died in a helicopter crash. Not only that, I had unknowingly driven within a mile of the crash site. My world stopped that day as well as Los Angeles’. I never forget it. Just the worst and most ominous anxiety which still makes me shutter a year later. We had lost arguably the most legendary player of all time, to the point where people who don’t even know him are familiar with the name. He made basketball fun to watch when I was little. He was perhaps my first athletic hero. Seeing him earn his five titles was so thrilling, and it brought the city of Los Angeles together every time. He earned an MVP award in the 2007-2008 season and was apart of 15 all star games. He is the Lakers all-time leading scorer. ‘Nuff said.
Earvin “Magic” Johnson
The Showtime Lakers. Ah yes, probably the most exciting time in LA sports. When it seemed like every year in the eighties the Lakers and the Celtics were meeting in the Finals. At the front of it was Magic Johnson. The guard was lethal in assists leading the league four times in his career propelling him to three MVP awards and 12 All-Star appearances. He was also a five-time world champ as well as earning three finals MVPs. Larry Bird was no match for Magic. He’s in the Hall of Fame, and now a partial owner of many LA-based sports teams. Oh, and he also survived AIDS. Can you get more legendary than that?
Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Don’t give all props of those eighties teams entirely to Magic. Kareem Abdul Jabbar could be the NBA’s greatest center. He was a serious weapon in the paint, averaging 22 points per game as a Laker, and a 56.7 field goal percentage. Defensively he also averaged 2.5 blocks per game and 9.4 rebounds. Because of all this, he took home six MVPs and was a 13 time all-star as a Laker. As stated above, he was apart of the showtime lakers alongside Magic, winning five championships as well.
Basketball in the 1960s was very different than what we see today. A lot of players were short and the league was overwhelmingly white. Wilt Chamberlain stood out from everyone else and made the game seem too easy for him. Jerry West also falls into this category. He played from 1960-1974 all as a member of the Lakers. As a guard in his career, he averaged around a whopping 27 points per game as well as 6.7 rebounds. He earned his way to 14 all-star appearances as well as being apart of the 1972 world champion Lakers team. Now West has crossed to the dark side working for the Clippers.
There were many players I was debating putting on this list. Shaquille O’Neal has played for one too many teams as well as Wilt Chamberlain. Kobe, Magic, Kareem, and Jerry are forever placed in the hearts of Los Angeles sports and the people alike. The Los Angeles Lakers are simply the Southland’s basketball team.