The Best Players in Lakers History

10. Elgin Baylor

Elgin Gay Baylor (born September 16, 1934 in Washington, D.C.) is a retired Hall of Fame American basketball player and former NBA general manager who played 13 seasons as a forward for the NBA’s Minneapolis Lakers/Los Angeles Lakers.  Baylor was a gifted shooter, strong rebounder, and an accomplished passer. Renowned for his acrobatic maneuvers on the court, Baylor regularly dazzled Lakers fans with his trademark hanging jump shots.

The No. 1 draft pick in 1958, NBA Rookie of the Year in 1959, and an 11-time NBA All-Star, he is regarded as one of the game’s all-time greatest players. In 1977, Baylor was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Baylor spent twenty-two years as GM of the Los Angeles Clippers, being named the NBA Executive of the Year in 2006, before being relieved of his duties slightly before the 2008-09 season began. -Wikipedia.org

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9. James Worthy

James Ager Worthy (born February 27, 1961 in Gastonia, North Carolina), is a retired Hall of Fame American college and professional basketball player. Named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, “Big Game James” was a seven time NBA All-Star and three time NBA champion. A standout for the North Carolina Tar Heels, the 6 ft 9 in (2.05 m) small forward was the MOP of the 1982 NCAA Tournament and #1 pick of the 1982 NBA Draft.  Worthy was an All-American high school basketball player at Ashbrook High School in Gastonia, North Carolina. Worthy averaged 21.5 points and 12.5 rebounds during his senior season, for a team that lost in the state championship game. -Wikipedia.org

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8. Karl Malone

Karl Anthony Malone (born July 24, 1963) is an American former professional basketball player.  Born in Summerfield, Louisiana, he was nicknamed The Mailman in college for his consistency (“the mailman always delivers”) and his work in the post. Malone twice won the National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player award. He is generally considered one of the greatest power forwards in NBA history, and has scored the second most points (36,928) in NBA history, trailing only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. On May 30, 2007, Malone was named director of basketball promotions and assistant strength and conditioning coach at his alma mater, Louisiana Tech University. -Wikipedia.org

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7. Jerry West

Jerry Alan West (born May 28, 1938) is a retired American basketball player who played his entire professional career for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His nicknames include “Mr. Clutch” for his ability to make a big play in a clutch situation; “The Logo” in reference to his silhouette being incorporated into the NBA logo; and “Zeke from Cabin Creek” after the creek near his birthplace of Chelyan, West Virginia.

Playing the small forward position early in his career, West was a standout at East Bank High School and at West Virginia University, leading the WVU Mountaineers to the 1959 NCAA championship game, earning Most Valuable Player honors despite the loss. He then embarked on a 14-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and was the co-captain of the 1960 U.S. Olympic gold medal team in Rome, a squad that would be inducted as a unit into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. -Wikipedia.org

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6. Derek Fisher

Derek Lamar Fisher (born August 9, 1974) is an American professional basketball player who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. His NBA career has spanned more than 14 years, during which he has won 5 NBA Championships. He currently serves as the president of the National Basketball Players Association. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Fisher started out his basketball career at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Selected the twenty-fourth draft pick by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1996 NBA Draft, Fisher spent his first eight seasons with the franchise.

During this time, he played a role in the Lakers’ “three-peat”, and was the third-leading scorer on the team behind Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. After his success with Los Angeles, Fisher signed with the Golden State Warriors, but was later traded to the Utah Jazz, where he helped lead the team to the Western Conference Finals. Due to his daughter’s health, he asked to be released from his contract and rejoined the Lakers in 2007. In 2010, he won his fifth NBA Championship with the Lakers. Only he and Kobe Bryant have played in all five of the Lakers’ most recent championships. -Wikipedia.org

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5. Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal (born March 6, 1972), nicknamed “Shaq”, is an American professional basketball player for the NBA’s Boston Celtics. Standing 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) tall and weighing 325 pounds (147 kg), he is one of the heaviest players ever to play in the NBA. Throughout his 18-year career, O’Neal has used his size and strength to overpower opponents for points and rebounds.[citation needed]After the retirement of Lindsey Hunter on March 5, 2010, O’Neal became the oldest active player in the NBA.  Following a standout career at Louisiana State University, O’Neal was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft.

He quickly became one of the top centers in the league, winning Rookie of the year in 1992–93 and later leading his team to the 1995 NBA Finals. After four years with the Magic, O’Neal signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers. He won three consecutive championships, playing alongside Kobe Bryant, in 2000, 2001, and 2002. O’Neal’s relationship with Bryant eventually declined into a feud, leading to O’Neal’s trade to the Miami Heat in 2004. He won his fourth NBA championship in 2006, but was traded midway through the season a year and a half later to the Phoenix Suns. After a season-and-a-half with the Suns, O’Neal was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he played alongside LeBron James in the 2009–10 season. -Wikipedia.org

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4. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born Ferdinand Lewis “Lew” Alcindor, Jr., April 16, 1947) is an American retired basketball player, coach, actor, and author. During his career with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers from 1969 to 1989, Abdul-Jabbar scored more points than any other player in league history, won six NBA championships and a record six regular season MVP Awards. In college at UCLA, he played on three championship teams, and his high school team won 71 consecutive games. -Wikipedia.org

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3. Wilt Chamberlain

Wilton Norman “Wilt” Chamberlain (August 21, 1936 – October 12, 1999) was an American professional NBA basketball player for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers; he also played for the Harlem Globetrotters. The 7 foot 1 inch Chamberlain, who weighed 250 lbs as a rookie before bulking up to 275 lb and eventually over 300 lb with the Lakers, played the center position and is considered by his contemporaries as one of the greatest and most dominant players in the history of the NBA.

Chamberlain holds numerous official NBA all-time records, setting records in many scoring, rebounding and durability categories. Among other notable accomplishments, he is the only player in NBA history to average more than 40 and 50 points in a season or score 100 points in a single NBA game. He also won seven scoring, nine field goal percentage, and eleven rebounding titles, and once even led the league in assists.

Although suffering a long string of professional losses, Chamberlain had a successful career, winning two NBA titles, earning four regular-season Most Valuable Player awards, the Rookie of the Year award, one NBA Finals MVP award, and being selected to 13 All-Star Games and ten All-NBA First and Second teams. Chamberlain was subsequently enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978, elected into the NBA’s 35th Anniversary Team of 1980, and chosen as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History of 1996. -Wikipedia.org

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2. Magic Johnson

Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. (born August 14, 1959) is a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA Draft by the Lakers. He won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season, and won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s. Johnson retired abruptly in 1991 after announcing that he had HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award. After protests from his fellow players, he retired again for four years, but returned in 1996 to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time. -Wikipedia.org

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1. Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bean Bryant (born August 23, 1978(1978-08-23)) is an American professional basketball player who plays shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Bryant enjoyed a successful high school basketball career at Lower Merion High School, where he was recognized as the top high school basketball player in the country. He decided to declare his eligibility for the NBA Draft upon graduation, and was selected with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets, then traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. As a rookie, Bryant earned himself a reputation as a high-flyer and a fan favorite by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest. -Wikipedia.org

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