All Time Laker Team

8 07 2008

It’s never a bad time to have a look at the history of the franchise you follow, and it seems appropriate that as the young and new head to the various Summer Leagues, to have a look at what came before.
So I present to you my selection for the All-Time Los Angeles Lakers team…

As a Los Angeles Lakers fan, many might think that with the abundance of players available, it’s easy. Well, I’d argue that for a Lakers fan, it’s harder than for most… for the exact same reason.


Jerry West
Kobe Bryant
Magic Johnson
Vern Mikkelsen
Wilt Chamberlain

Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Elgin Baylor
George Mikan
Gail Goodrich
James Worthy
Jim Pollard
Clyde Lovellette

Some explanations are due:
– I felt I really had to start both Magic and West… Magic could probably play at the 3, and if that was an issue I’d start Kobe at the 3 and play Magic at shooting guard. But I’d have those 3 (the Logo, Magic & Kobe) in my starting 5.
– I couldn’t start Shaq over Wilt… Yes, Shaq had some amazing years, but Wilt’s Wilt. And personally? I like Kareem over Shaq too. And on Mikan – ‘historical perspective’ has to hold some sway o’ the day. Shaq misses out due to having two centers better than him (Wilt/Kareem), and as alluded to earlier, Mikan gets in on historical significance (yes, I realise that Shaq is probably… well, ‘was’ a better center than Mikan). Mikan was more important to his place in history than O’Neal. I’m fine (and prepared for) with those that disagree. I understand that this means that some people make the team that are actually not as good as O’Neal… but I’m choosing on position, not just numbers.
– Amazing how light on for all-time great power forwards the Lakers are (now that I’ve said that there’s bound to be a really obvious one I’ve missed), so I included ol’ timers Mikkelsen & Lovellette. Mikkelsen was a hard, hard man. Very intimidating. Great for this team. Lovellette was a giant of a man, and could play center as well should foul trouble necessitate it.
– Pollard – the ‘Kangaroo Kid’, could dunk from the free throw line despite being only 6’4″. Even tho’ he was short for a power forward, Pollard was voted by his peers as being the best player of his era… whilst playing with both Mikan and Mikkelsen.




22 responses

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yo! check out my all-time nets team!

8 07 2008


The best two basketball players in Lakers’ history are:

1. Magic
2. Kareem

Wilt was a terrific individual talent; but basketball is the ultimate team game.

So was Mr. Logo was a special player; as was Elgin and Kobe … and others, as well.

To NOT put Kareem on your 1st Team is a travesty. 🙂

9 07 2008
Craig W.

Kareem or Wilt? Man, if that is your only problem your life is just chock full of roses.

I think Kareem was perhaps the most talented and consistent NBA player for the longest period of time. And I would probably start Wilt over him. Why? Wilt was so incredibly domimant that it is hard to fathom today. Younger fans look back on Michael and marvel at his dominance – then they point to the championships. Well, Wilt didn’t have the teams surrounding him that MJ did and he was in the heyday of the legendary Celtics teams. However, if you saw Wilt play you will understand just how he literally took over the game. Statistics don’t fully tell the story. He just moved you out and took what he wanted. He was clearly more dominant than Shaq – even tho Shaq may have been born with more talent.

9 07 2008

I would argue that both Kareem and Shaq had a much better careers with the Laker than Wilt, simply based on championships, and the fact that they were bar none the most dominant players during their chamionship runs. Same deal with the Logo…title mean more than anything else. So, I’d say it has be Magic, Kobe, Worthy, Jabbar and Shaq. Nice post though, I enjoyed it.

9 07 2008
Max S from Missouri

How do you have a job? Wow…..

No Shaq? Talk about being upset that your “favorite franchise isn’t jack sh|t without Shaq, despite an amazing market and favortism from the officials

9 07 2008

Sigh… not that I have to answer to anyone on this, but…

Max – Tell me: given I chose this team on position, how do you put Shaq in over Chamberlain, Abdul Jabbar, or Mikan? If it was just listing the top 12 players, fine… but I’m not starting any team with 4 centers.

9 07 2008

play shaq at power forward, just use 1992 shaq! dude was mad athletic and mobile

9 07 2008
Brandon Hoffman


Magic is the greatest point guard of all-time. You can’t possibly move him to the shooting forward to make room for West OR Kobe. And this is coming from a Lakers (Kobe) fan.

Kareem is the greatest center of all-time. If we’re playing guys out of position, how about playing Kareem at power forward and O’Neal at center?

Wilt’s career as a whole might be more impressive than Shaq’s. But Shaq won three championships with LA. He had a more impressive career as a Laker.

Good read. I enjoyed it.



9 07 2008
Brandon Hoffman

I’m not sure why my previous comment was edited to your name but it was probably an error on my part.

9 07 2008

Edited to accurately reflect who wrote it Brandon…

And part of the beauty of Magic’s game was that he could do what he did from anywhere, any position. Literally. And he did.

9 07 2008

Well I think Shaq was better than Kareem and I’ll tell you why.

Sure in 6 more years than shaq (kareem 20 years, shaq at 14) he did more.
But how many 20 pt 10 rebound games in his career did Kareem have?
How many ‘All NBA Defense’ teams did each make (Shaq made many more all defense teams than Kareem).

Kareem was not frequently double teamed. Think about if Shaq had as many 1 on 1 games, he WOULD have scored much more points. Shaq was still being double teamed in MIAMI even.

Kareem was not a very good rebounder, at least not as good as shaq.
Who has better assist/steal stats?

So if you go by SCORING totals alone, Kareem is your choice (but only cause he played more games).
BUT if you go by ALL the other categories (including scoring AVERAGE), your only choice IS Shaq…

Sorry all you Kareem butt kissers, but the STATS bear me out…

9 07 2008

Lemme guess: you’re under 25?

9 07 2008

I’m not saying Kareem isn’t great. HE IS GREAT.

My opinion is that Wilt and Shaq were better (Mikan doesn’t even deserve to be mentioned – historic perspective not with standing – because we’re talking about who is better, in my opinion, based on STATS alone).

Mikan’s stats (AVERAGE stats) SHOULD have been really dominant because he simply had NO competition.

9 07 2008

What do stats have to do with my age?
I notice you didn’t even contest anything I said LOL..

I’m was borne in 1969, you do the math thanks.

9 07 2008
All-Time Cavaliers Team | WaitingForNextYear

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9 07 2008
Brandon Hoffman


Thanks. And you’re right. But he was most effective running the break. Which I suppose he could do from any position but still…

9 07 2008

Hey Brandon…
No, I get what you’re saying. It’s could almost be considered disrespect to start him anywhere but at the point, but I look at it the other way: it’s a sign of utmost respect that I’m comfortable with starting him somewhere else.

11 07 2008

How can you bench Worthy! Aaaaagh!!!!

12 07 2008

All Time Laker Team? Let’s see…

Abdul Jabbar


12 07 2008

I’m an LA Native and a life-long Lakers fan.

Starting 5
PG – Magic
SG – Kobe
SF – Worthy
PF – Wilt
C – Kareem

Second Team
PG – The Logo
SG – Byron Scott
SF – Elgin Baylor
PF – George Mikan
C – Shaq

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