I was thinking Magic or Kareem, but only because I remember both of them playing, and I remember how people used to talk about them. For me, they have a mystique of being "the guys" when I was growing up, and I think that matters a lot to how you perceive a player's position in the all time rankings.
Wilt has to be pretty high up there in the all time Lakers list.
Tough call. There's Magic, Kobe, Kareem, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor (one of the most underrated players in NBA history), Mikan. I'd say Magic, personally, but you can make cases for the others.
You know it's a great franchise when your SECOND TIER of legends includes guys like Shaq, James Worthy, etc.
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
In the epilogue of the hardcover version of Bill Simmons' Book of Basketball, he said he was moving Kobe up to at least #8 on his list of greatest players. I don't know where he ended up in the paperback. He had Kareem #3, Magic #4, Wilt Chamberlain #6 (I don't know if the list is supposed to be the players who had the greatest contribution to the Lakers or the greatest players to have played with the Lakers, which is slightly different), Jerry West #9, Shaquille O'Neal #12, and Elgin Baylor #15. I agree with Big Bad, having 7 of the top 15 players of all time is pretty amazing.
I don't know enough about basketball to compare players so I will defer to TSG on the matter.
If we're talking about Lakers that have made the greatest contribution to the franchise, I'd imagine it'll eventually be Kobe, who's going to own nearly every team record AND possibly match Jordan with six titles.
If we're talking about Lakers that have made the greatest impact on the team, the sport of basketball, and society in general, no one will ever beat Magic.
If Magic fulfills that promise of bringing football to L.A., he will be an even greater legend to this city than he already is.
Originally posted by ekedolphinI'd have to give the nod to George Mikan. He was so dominant during his time in the league that no one even came close. He helped the Minneapolis Lakers become the NBA's first dynasty.
If we limit ourselves to Los Angeles Lakers (as the linked list did, but the original poster didn't specify), I'd have to go with Magic Johnson.
(edited by ekedolphin on 27.3.11 0506)
Good argument on basketball's first ever giant. Valid point for Mr. 99 but I will say Magic Johnson is the greatest Laker ever. Though there is a possibility that Kobe will pass Magic and equal Jordan in terms of how many rings, Magic made every person on his team better and not to mention Magic could play any position on the floor including center.
Even though Kobe is the better scorer and even the best clutch player since Jordan, Magic was a better overall team player and didn't need to put up 30 or 40 shots a game to get his stats across. Kobe is probably one of the top 5 Lakers of all time but not number 1.