Countdown to NBA Opening Day: All Time Lakers Squad

Despite recent issues, the Lakers are by far one of the best franchises this association has ever had. Boasting countless Hall of Fame caliber stars, the Lakers vast array of superstars ranges from Magic and his Showtime squad, to Shaq and his heavy hitting three-peat team of the early 2000’s. Oh yeah the Lakers were damn good, lets just hope they can one day reclaim some of their past glory.

PG: Simply known as one of the greatest all around players to ever touch a ball, Magic Johnson wins this spot with ease. As a 6’9″ point guard, Earvin Magic Johnson could literally do it all, and his skills were on full display his rookie year when he blazed into the league averaging a near triple double (18, 7, and 7) on his way getting a starting spot in the 1980 All Star game. Later that year when star center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar fell with a sprained ankle in the finals, it was Johnson who got the start at center and lead his team to the promise land with an astounding 42 points, 15 boards, and 7 assists. From that point on, the legend of Magic would take full affect sweeping the league off its feet. Johnson is a 12 time All Star, three time MVP, and five time NBA champion; throughout his career, Magic averaged 19 points, 11 assists, and over seven rebounds.

SG: When the Mamba’s career is all said and done, I have no doubt in my mind he will be seen as one of the top tlakershree scorers and top ten players to ever slither upon the hardwood. Kobe “Jellybean” Bryant came into the league slowly but steady, as he only averaged seven points his rookie year. But with a steady incline in his game and his flashy play style, Kobe was named an All Star for the Lakers in only his second season, and when coaching guru Phil Jackson came along in year three, Bryant’s role only expanded. Jackson found a way to mesh Kobe’s talents with the rest of the team, mainly Shaq, and lead the Lakers to three consecutive championships. Yet this was all before the black mamba was born, with the departure of Shaq at the end of the 2004 playoff disappointment, Bryant was handed over the keys to the castle. On a clear LA night in 2005, the Mamba went off for 81 points against the Toronto Raptors. The rest is history, as Kobe went on to lead his teams to back to back chips spanning from 2008-2010. Bryant has averaged 25 points, five boards, and despite popular thought, five assists as well. Still kicking at the ripe age of 37, we are all rooting for Kobe to have a fruitful ending to his phenomenal career.

SF: “Big Game” James Worthy is most definitely worthy of this starting forward spot for the Lakers. Worthy’s name is often forgotten in the shuffle of great Lakers players, but his contributions to the franchise should not be forgotten. This number one overall pick came into the league hot, and remained Mr. Reliable throughout his entire 12 year career. Worthy is most remembered for two things, his phenomenal goggles, and his outstanding performance against the rival Celtics in the 1985 finals. Averaging a stellar 23 points against the Celt’s, Worthy lead the Lakers to his first of three championships in three years. As a seven time All Star, finals MVP, and three time champ, Worthy’s contributions to the Laker organization should certainly be remembered. James Worthy averaged 18 points, five rebounds, and a steal throughout his stud-like 12 year career.

PF: Now I usually would not do this, but this guy is a special case. The Lakers have a long standing history of extremely dominant centers, Shaq, Wilt, and obviously Kareem; therefore, I’m making a move at the PF position that may spark some controversy. Shaquille O’Neal is getting the starting job here, and yeah it is a risky move, but its a move I’m willing to make. Shaq’s dominance on the floor was obvious wherever he went, lets just act like those years on the Cavs and Celtics didn’t exist, I mean the guy was simply a monster. While I am personally more of a fan of the Orlando Magic young Shaq, his Prime days in LA can only be described as beastly as he averaged nearly 28 points, 12 rebounds, and close to three blocks. It doesn’t hurt that the guy also brought Los Angeles three chips as the number one guy on a three peat squad. When everything is all said and done, there is no doubt in my mind that Shaq will be considered one of the top ten greatest ballers to ever play.

C: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wins this spot by a hair, as this spot is simply a loaded one for the Lakers. Jabbar was a phenomenal player on both the Milwaukee Bucks, but especially on the Lakers. He brought life back to a relatively dilapidated franchise in the late 70’s, making the Los Angeles team relevant with championships and exceptional play. As a Laker, Kareem averaged 25 points, ten rebounds, and two and a half blocks; he is a six time MVP, 19 time All Star, and has six big rings. Kareem is already in the HOF and is regarded by many as the greatest center to ever lace em up, couple that with what he did for LA, he had to find his way onto this list.

Sixth Man: Wilt “the Stilt” Chamberlain, the defensive stopper Ron Artest, the clutch shooting Robert Horry, late game rain man Derek Fisher, and the ultimate role playing Rick Fox.

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