LA Lakers' All-Time "Bad Boy" Team
This article will look at the Los Angeles Lakers' all-time bad boy starting lineup. While the Lakers aren’t necessarily a franchise known for “bad boys,” there are certainly a few players who have worn purple and gold who can be considered bad mama jamas.
With that, here is one Lakers starting lineup you wouldn’t want to come across in a dark alley.
Point Guard: Nick Van Exel
Nick Van Exel is the only All-Star-caliber point guard the Los Angeles Lakers have had since Magic Johnson retired. In addition, “Nick the Quick” had that brash, confident attitude that just screamed “bad boy.”
Shooting Guard: Michael Cooper
During the Los Angeles Lakers’ run to five championships in the 1980s, Michael Cooper was the team’s defensive stopper, given the job of shutting down the opposing team’s best player, including the likes of Larry Bird.
Bird has said Cooper was the best defender he ever faced. Such praise from a player like Larry Bird gives Cooper an automatic position on the Lakers' bad boy team.
Small Forward: Ron Artest
While Ron Artest got most of the “bad boy” out of his system before joining the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009, there is no more obvious choice than Artest at the small forward position.
Despite Artest cleaning up his less than squeaky-clean image before coming to Los Angeles, there is no doubting who the team’s toughest, most intimidating player currently is.
Power Forward: Kermit Washington
Not only was Kermit Washington a tough, hard-nosed power forward, but he darn near killed a man in a 1977 game against the Houston Rockets. In the middle of a scuffle, Washington punched Rudy Tomjanovich, who was running to break up the altercation.
Tomjanovich suffered numerous fractures to his face and cranium, while Washington was fined $10,000 and suspended for 60 days. Not long after the incident, the Lakers traded Washington to the Boston Celtics.
Photo courtesy of psacard.com
Center: Wilt Chamberlain
The Los Angeles Lakers are famous for boasting some of the greatest centers in NBA history, including Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal.
While they were all dominating, the only one who can be considered a “bad boy” is Chamberlain.
“The Stilt” was one of the most, if not the most, physically dominating specimens to play the game of basketball.