Ranking the Top 25 Players in LA Lakers History

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Ranking the Top 25 Players in LA Lakers History
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the greatest franchises in all of sports.

Twenty-one Hall of Famers have donned the purple and gold, and that is a number that will continue to grow for years to come. In addition to hosting some of the game’s greatest legends, L.A. has won 16 championships.

The following list includes some of those Hall of Fame players, as well as others who are sure to be accepted into basketball immortality when they hang up the kicks.

I didn’t rank these players as the best ones who have ever played in Los Angeles. I chose this list based on what they brought to the Lakers.

Each player was required to have played at least three seasons in L.A. in order to be eligible. In addition, all stats used, via Basketball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted, were from the time that the particular player was on the Lakers.

(Side note: players who were on the Minneapolis Lakers were included, as well.)

For example, Steve Nash is an all-time great point guard. He ranks fourth in NBA history for assists, has two MVP awards and eight All-Star appearances. However, he is heading into just his second season in L.A., so he is not eligible for this list.

The ranking puts emphasis on championships (and the player’s role in achieving those rings), MVPs and other individual awards, franchise records, personal statistics while on the Lakers and special talents that they brought to L.A.

Of course, some of the greatest players ever are near the top of the list: Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal being the most notable.

Who is the greatest of them all? Well, that depends on how you define it. There is no statistic that makes one of these legends far superior to the next—they all deserve recognition for their tremendous achievements in purple and gold.

But based on my analysis, one Laker stands slightly taller than the rest.

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