Greatest Los Angeles Lakers of All Time - Top 10 Basketball Legends

Dive into the storied history of the Los Angeles Lakers as we pay tribute to the Greatest of All Time. From Wilt's dominance to LeBron's leadership, each player has left an enduring legacy in the City of Angels.

by Maivizhi A

Updated Dec 06, 2023

Advertisement
Greatest Los Angeles Lakers of All Time - Top 10 Basketball Legends
Fresherslive

Greatest Los Angeles Lakers of All Time 

The Los Angeles Lakers, one of the most iconic franchises in the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA), boast a legacy that transcends the boundaries of time and sports. From the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to the electrifying atmosphere of the Staples Center, the Lakers have long been synonymous with excellence, dominance, and an unwavering commitment to success.

Article continues below advertisement

As we delve into the annals of basketball history, a constellation of stars emerges, representing the Greatest Los Angeles Lakers of All Time.

S. No

Player

Position

Championship

1

Magic Johnson

Point Guard

5

2

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Center

5

3

Kobe Bryant

Shooting Guard

5

4

Shaquille O’Neal

Center

3

5

Jerry West

Shooting Guard

1

6

Elgin Baylor

Forward

0

7

James Worthy

Forward

3

8

Wilt Chamberlain

Center

1

9

Pau Gasol

Forward/Center

2

10

Derek Fisher

Point Guard

5

At the heart of this stellar ensemble is the indomitable figure of Earvin "Magic" Johnson, whose dazzling style of play and infectious smile not only defined an era but also elevated the Lakers to unprecedented heights. Magic's unparalleled court vision and leadership guided the team to five NBA championships during the 1980s, solidifying his status as one of the greatest point guards in the history of the sport.

Alongside Magic, the Lakers have been home to some of the most iconic big men in NBA history, none more legendary than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The NBA's all-time leading scorer, Abdul-Jabbar's skyhook shot became as synonymous with the Lakers as the purple and gold uniforms. His dominant presence in the paint and consistent excellence propelled the team to numerous championships, leaving an indelible mark on the franchise.

No discussion of the Greatest Lakers would be complete without the mention of Kobe Bryant, a basketball virtuoso whose work ethic, passion, and scoring prowess captivated fans worldwide. Kobe's twenty-year tenure with the Lakers showcased an unparalleled commitment to the pursuit of greatness, resulting in five NBA championships and numerous individual accolades.

 

Fresherslive brings you the cream of the crop in articles. Unlock a world of knowledge and insights with our Top 10 articles, the ultimate destination for valuable information. 

Article continues below advertisement

Top 10 Greatest Los Angeles Lakers of All Time 

As we explore the rich tapestry of Lakers history, names like Shaquille O'Neal, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, and Wilt Chamberlain also emerge as titans who contributed to the team's storied success. Together, these luminaries form the pantheon of the Greatest Los Angeles Lakers of All Time, their collective achievements echoing through the halls of basketball immortality.

Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement

1. Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson, born Earvin Johnson Jr. on August 14, 1959, is widely regarded as one of the greatest Los Angeles Lakers of all time. Standing at 6 feet 9 inches, Magic revolutionized the point guard position with his unique combination of size, skill, and court vision. Drafted first overall by the Lakers in 1979, he wasted no time making an impact, leading the team to an NBA championship in his rookie season.

Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement

A key figure in the Lakers' iconic "Showtime" era of the 1980s, Magic orchestrated fast-paced and entertaining basketball. His infectious smile and charismatic personality endeared him to fans around the world. Johnson's versatility allowed him to play multiple positions, earning him three NBA MVP awards during his illustrious career. He retired abruptly in 1991 but made a brief comeback in 1996, showcasing his enduring love for the game.

Off the court, Magic Johnson has become a successful businessman, owning a share of the Los Angeles Lakers at one point. His impact on and off the court cements his legacy as one of the all-time greats in Lakers history.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CyhEiPYvisw/
Article continues below advertisement

2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. on April 16, 1947, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stands as the NBA's all-time leading scorer and one of the greatest Los Angeles Lakers in history. The Lakers acquired him in a blockbuster trade in 1975, and he quickly became the centerpiece of their success.

Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement

Kareem's signature move, the skyhook shot, was nearly impossible to defend, contributing significantly to his six MVP awards. During his tenure with the Lakers, he led the team to five NBA championships in the 1980s. His consistent dominance on both ends of the court earned him 19 All-Star selections and 11 All-NBA First Team nods.

Off the court, Abdul-Jabbar was known for his activism and intellectual pursuits, making him a respected figure beyond basketball. His impact on the Lakers franchise and the sport as a whole is immeasurable, solidifying his place as one of the greatest basketball players in history.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CyjndSjvECT/
Article continues below advertisement

3. Kobe Bryant 

Kobe Bryant, born on August 23, 1978, left an indelible mark on the Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA as a whole. Drafted straight out of high school in 1996, Kobe spent his entire 20-season career with the Lakers, becoming the face of the franchise. His work ethic, competitiveness, and scoring ability drew comparisons to the all-time greats.

Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement

The Black Mamba, as he was known, won five NBA championships with the Lakers, earning two NBA Finals MVP awards. His iconic scoring performances, including an 81-point game in 2006, showcased his offensive prowess. Kobe's dedication to his craft and his "Mamba Mentality" inspired a generation of players.

Off the court, Bryant expanded his influence through various ventures, including winning an Academy Award for his animated short film "Dear Basketball." Tragically, Kobe's life was cut short in a helicopter crash in January 2020, but his impact on the Lakers and the game of basketball will endure as part of his lasting legacy. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4s9JWnHnxf/?hl=en
Article continues below advertisement

4. Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O'Neal, often referred to simply as "Shaq," is widely regarded as one of the greatest centers in NBA history and a key figure in the success of the Los Angeles Lakers. Standing at an imposing 7 feet 1 inch and weighing over 300 pounds, O'Neal dominated the court with his combination of size, strength, and agility. He played for the Lakers from 1996 to 2004, during which the team secured three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 to 2002.

Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement

O'Neal's impact on the Lakers was profound. His partnership with Kobe Bryant formed one of the most formidable duos in basketball history, leading the team to numerous victories. Shaq's athleticism and scoring ability, coupled with his prowess in rebounding and shot-blocking, made him a force to be reckoned with. He earned three NBA Finals MVP awards during his time with the Lakers and was a key contributor to their championship successes.

Off the court, Shaq's larger-than-life personality and charisma endeared him to fans worldwide. His sense of humor and approachability made him a beloved figure both in Los Angeles and beyond. O'Neal's time with the Lakers solidified his legacy as one of the franchise's all-time greats, and he was later inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Cz2iO5grhw2/
Article continues below advertisement

5. Jerry West

Jerry West, known as "Mr. Clutch" for his ability to perform under pressure, is a basketball legend who spent his entire playing career with the Los Angeles Lakers from 1960 to 1974. As a 14-time NBA All-Star, West made significant contributions to the Lakers' success and left an indelible mark on the franchise.

Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement

West's scoring prowess and exceptional skills as a guard made him a perennial threat on the court. He played a crucial role in leading the Lakers to the NBA Finals nine times during his career, although he faced tough competition from formidable teams like the Boston Celtics. Despite falling short in some of those finals, West's individual brilliance earned him the NBA Finals MVP in 1969, a testament to his exceptional performances.

Beyond his playing career, Jerry West transitioned into a successful executive role, contributing to the Lakers' front office in various capacities. His impact on the team's success continued off the court, further solidifying his status as one of the greatest figures in Lakers history. In recognition of his contributions, the NBA immortalized him as the silhouette in the iconic NBA logo.

Article continues below advertisement

6. Elgin Baylor

Elgin Baylor, a pioneering figure in the history of the Los Angeles Lakers, played a vital role in establishing the franchise's prominence during his illustrious career from 1958 to 1971. A versatile forward, Baylor's scoring ability, rebounding, and athleticism set him apart as one of the premier players of his era.

Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement

Baylor's impact on the Lakers was immediate, earning Rookie of the Year honors in 1959. He consistently delivered stellar performances, becoming an 11-time NBA All-Star and an 10-time All-NBA First Team selection. Baylor's scoring prowess was particularly notable, and he held the record for the highest-scoring game in NBA Finals history with 61 points until it was surpassed decades later.

Although he faced challenges in winning an NBA championship during his playing career, Baylor's influence on the Lakers' culture and his contributions to the team's success laid the foundation for future triumphs. His smooth playing style and offensive skills were ahead of his time, influencing the evolution of the game.

Despite retiring prior to the Lakers' championship successes in the 1980s, Elgin Baylor remains a revered figure in the franchise's history, earning induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977.

Article continues below advertisement

7. James Worthy

James Worthy, nicknamed "Big Game James," is widely regarded as one of the greatest Los Angeles Lakers of all time. Born on February 27, 1961, in Gastonia, North Carolina, Worthy had a stellar career with the Lakers during the 1980s. He played a pivotal role in the team's success, contributing significantly to three NBA championships (1985, 1987, 1988).

Worthy, a 6'9" small forward, possessed a unique blend of size, speed, and skill. His impact on the court was particularly pronounced during crucial playoff moments, earning him the "Big Game James" moniker. Worthy's ability to perform under pressure was instrumental in the Lakers' championship runs, and he was named the NBA Finals MVP in 1988.

A seven-time NBA All-Star, Worthy's career with the Lakers spanned from 1982 to 1994. He formed a formidable trio with Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, contributing to the Lakers' dominance in the Western Conference. Worthy's versatility was showcased in his scoring, rebounding, and defensive abilities, making him a key asset for the team.

James Worthy's No. 42 jersey was retired by the Lakers in honor of his outstanding contributions to the franchise. Beyond his on-court achievements, Worthy has remained connected to the basketball world as a television analyst and ambassador for the Lakers, solidifying his legacy as one of the greatest players in the franchise's history.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CzueyKlsB0c/

8. Wilt Chamberlain

Wilt Chamberlain, a basketball icon, left an indelible mark during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers. Born on August 21, 1936, in Philadelphia, Chamberlain was a dominant force in the NBA, known for his scoring prowess, rebounding ability, and shot-blocking skills. The 7'1" center played for the Lakers from 1968 to 1973.

Chamberlain joined the Lakers after successful stints with the Philadelphia and San Francisco Warriors and the Philadelphia 76ers. His arrival in Los Angeles brought an immediate impact, helping the Lakers reach the NBA Finals multiple times. In 1972, Chamberlain and the Lakers achieved the remarkable feat of winning an NBA-record 33 consecutive games.

As a Laker, Chamberlain earned numerous accolades, including NBA MVP honors and All-Star selections. His scoring achievements are legendary, including the iconic 100-point game in 1962 as a member of the Philadelphia Warriors. Chamberlain's dominant presence in the paint and ability to control the boards made him a crucial asset for the Lakers during his tenure.

Wilt Chamberlain's No. 13 jersey was retired by the Lakers to immortalize his contributions to the franchise. Beyond his on-court legacy, Chamberlain remains a basketball legend, remembered as one of the greatest players in NBA history.

9. Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol, the skilled Spanish power forward/center, etched his name among the greatest Los Angeles Lakers of all time with his impactful contributions during his tenure with the team. Born on July 6, 1980, in Barcelona, Spain, Gasol brought finesse, basketball IQ, and versatility to the Lakers, playing a pivotal role in their back-to-back NBA championships in 2009 and 2010.

Gasol joined the Lakers in 2008 via a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies, forming a dynamic duo with Kobe Bryant. The pairing proved instrumental in the Lakers' success, reaching the NBA Finals three consecutive times. Gasol's ability to score both inside and outside, along with his adept passing, made him a unique and valuable asset.

A four-time NBA All-Star as a Laker, Gasol's impact extended beyond individual accomplishments. His unselfish play and team-first mentality helped the Lakers establish themselves as a dominant force in the league. Gasol's contributions were particularly evident in the 2009 NBA Finals, where he played a crucial role in defeating the Orlando Magic.

Pau Gasol's No. 16 jersey was not only retired by the Lakers but symbolizes an era of success for the franchise. His legacy extends beyond championships, as Gasol's sportsmanship, leadership, and philanthropic efforts have endeared him to fans worldwide, solidifying his place among the Lakers' all-time greats.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CyjIZ1jo3mt/

10. Derek Fisher 

Derek Fisher, known for his clutch performances and leadership qualities, played an essential role in the Los Angeles Lakers' success during the early 2000s. Fisher, a point guard, was a reliable and tenacious player who elevated his game in critical moments, earning a reputation as one of the league's premier clutch shooters.

Fisher's Lakers career was defined by his numerous game-winning shots and his ability to step up in high-pressure situations, particularly during playoff runs. He won five NBA championships with the Lakers, contributing both as a floor general and a perimeter threat. His partnership with Kobe Bryant in the backcourt became a symbol of the Lakers' resilience and determination.

Beyond his on-court contributions, Fisher's leadership in the locker room was invaluable. He served as a stabilizing force during turbulent times and was a mentor to younger players. Fisher's impact on the Lakers' championship culture is enduring, making him one of the franchise's all-time greats.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CHdkaKUgvcI/

Top Los Angeles Lakers Ever

The Los Angeles Lakers' storied history is a tapestry woven with the brilliance and greatness of basketball legends who have left an indelible mark on the franchise. The list of the Top 10 Greatest Los Angeles Lakers of All Time is a testament to the rich legacy that spans decades, encompassing triumphs, iconic moments, and the unwavering commitment to excellence.

From the magic-infused courts of the 'Showtime' era led by the incomparable Magic Johnson to the towering presence of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the scoring virtuosity of Kobe Bryant, each player on this illustrious list has contributed uniquely to the Lakers' success. The dynamic duo of Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, the clutch performances of Jerry West, the pioneering skills of Elgin Baylor, the versatility of James Worthy, the dominance of Wilt Chamberlain, the finesse of Pau Gasol, and the leadership of Derek Fisher collectively form a pantheon of greatness.

These players have not only etched their names in the annals of Lakers history but have become synonymous with the franchise's ethos of resilience, excellence, and a relentless pursuit of victory. As their jerseys hang in the rafters of the Staples Center, each retired number tells a story of championships, individual brilliance, and a lasting impact on the game of basketball.

The Top 10 Greatest Los Angeles Lakers of All Time are not merely basketball players; they are legends whose influence transcends the court. Their contributions have shaped the Lakers into a global phenomenon and have left an enduring legacy that continues to inspire generations of fans. In celebrating these iconic figures, we pay homage to the spirit of competition, teamwork, and the pursuit of greatness that defines the essence of the Los Angeles Lakers.



Disclaimer: The above information is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site.

Greatest Los Angeles Lakers of All Time - FAQs

1. Who is considered the greatest Los Angeles Lakers player of all time?

While opinions may vary, Magic Johnson is often regarded as the greatest Lakers player of all time. His impact on the court, leadership, and role in the "Showtime" era solidify his legendary status.

2. How many NBA championships did Kobe Bryant win with the Los Angeles Lakers?

Kobe Bryant secured five NBA championships with the Lakers, showcasing his remarkable scoring prowess and unwavering dedication to the team over his illustrious 20-season career.

3. Which Lakers player is known for the iconic skyhook shot?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA's all-time leading scorer, is renowned for his unstoppable skyhook shot. His dominant presence and consistent excellence contributed significantly to the Lakers' success.

4. Why is Jerry West nicknamed "Mr. Clutch"?

Jerry West earned the nickname "Mr. Clutch" for his exceptional ability to perform under pressure. His scoring prowess and clutch performances made him a crucial asset for the Lakers during his playing career.

5. How many consecutive NBA championships did Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant win with the Lakers?

Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant formed a formidable duo, securing three consecutive NBA championships with the Lakers from 2000 to 2002.

Recent Articles


Advertisement
DMCA.com Protection Status