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The top 5 Lakers of all time

Updated on January 28, 2013
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Kobe Bryant is the all time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history. As for the greatest Laker ever, that debate is still on. But for now we can talk about the top 5 Lakers of all time.

Being such a big Lakers fan, it was only right for me to break it down here on my favorites; keep in mind a lot of analysts felt the same way too. It is quite an objective list!

Kobe Bryant for me is the epitome of the Lakers franchise!
Kobe Bryant for me is the epitome of the Lakers franchise!

There have been so many Hall of Fame basketball players that have donned the Laker uniform and done great things, but I had to narrow it down to just five for the purposes of this Hub. It was really hard to decide who to include, but I think this Hub is very accurate about the top 5 Lakers of all time.

Earvin "Magic" Johnson (1979-1991)

Magic battling with Bird
Magic battling with Bird | Source

A lot of basketball fans believe that Magic Johnson is the greatest Laker ever. It was not just his game on the court which was head-and-shoulders above the rest that was appealing, but also his gregarious personality of the court and his famed rivalry with Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird.

These two superstars faced off against each other in the 1979 national championship between Michigan State and Indiana State. The popularity of this game made the Magic and Bird instant stars and their fans stayed loyal through their NBA careers. It was Magic and Bird and their fierce rivalry that took the NBA to new heights in its popularity.

Bryant at a game in the Target Center that I managed to catch!
Bryant at a game in the Target Center that I managed to catch!

Kobe Bryant (1997 - present)

The Black Mamba needs no introduction like most of the fine ball players on this list and I definitely don't need to tell you why he finishes of this list of Lakers superstars. I truly believe (I could be biased because he was in my generation and he is my inspiration) that he is the greatest Laker ever.

If Jellybean hasn't gone down as the greatest Laker ever for a lot of you out there, I guarantee that there will be no dispute after he hangs up his basketball sneakers. The Kobe-Shaq duo was one of the most legendary one-two punches out there that resulted in a three-peat and the Lakers conquering that era in the NBA.

The new look Laker team should bring Bryant glory and his legend will not be tarnished because he has managed to win a couple of championships with out Shaq or a Shaq like presence on the team cough Dwight Howard.

Jerry West (1960 - 1974)

Source

The present generation probably remember him as the GM who gave us the infamous one-two punch of Kobe and Shaq. But true basketball fans know him as "The Logo". West has been a genius as a GM and as a point guard for the Lakers in the 60s and early 70s. Jerry West is famous for being named the MVP in the 1969 finals even though the Lakers ended up losing.

His story is very inspiring with his mom even throwing the basketball away and being really discouraging to a young Jerry West who was also very small in stature at the time.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1975-1989)

Jabbar in his prime
Jabbar in his prime

Mr. Skyhook came to the Lakers after an illustrious run with the Milwaukee Bucks that included an NBA championship in 1971. Lew Alcindor (Jabbar) was already a huge deal being a central part of John Wooden's golden UCLA rein that included 10 NCAA championships; Jabbar featured in 3 of them from 1967-1969.

The big man left his mark in the pro game being part of the "Showtime" Lakers alongside Magic Johnson and then "Big Game James" James Worthy. This was a turning point for the Lakers that had just moved from Minneapolis and the NBA as well with the "Showtime" Lakers featuring in 8 NBA finals of which they won 5.

Elgin Baylor (1958 - 1971)

Elgin was a treat to watch
Elgin was a treat to watch

Elgin Baylor was a predecessor to the modern Kobe Bryants and Vince Carters of the game. Bryant himself admitted to copying a lot of Baylor when growing up. The running bank shot was what Elgin was most famous for.

Unfortunately for Baylor, he retired in 1971 a year prior to the Lakers franchise winning their first ever NBA title.

Who is the greatest Laker ever?

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