The Los Angeles Lakers have 17 Championships titles in their trophy cabinet. They are a successful NBA franchise. Legends of the game have adorned the gold and the purple throughout their long and glorious history. They have wowed the NBA courts. We take a look today at the greatest players of the LA Lakers’ history in terms both of individual brilliance as well as team achievements.
The Lakers have produced some of the best players in history, from Kareem Abdoubbar to Wilt chamberlain. LeBron Jame and Shaquille o’Neal are two of the greatest players in history to have played for this team. Franchise legends such as Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson spent their entire career with the Lakers.
The Best Players of LA Lakers’ History
1. Magic Johnson
Earvin “Magic” Johnson was arguably the best player in Los Angeles Lakers history. Earvin “Magic” Johnson was a true spectacle on the court. Johnson led the Lakers in a dazzling five NBA Championships over his 13 years of playing.
Johnson, a 12-time All-Star, was loved on and off the court. He won three championships for his franchise, and was named Finals MVP. Johnson is widely considered one of the best point guards in the history of basketball.
Johnson’s 13-year career in the NBA saw the Lakers reach nine NBA Finals. Magic dazzled on the court from his first NBA season and won Rookie Of The Year in 1980. He was the regular season MVP three times for the franchise between 1979 and 1991. Earvin announced his retirement in 1991 after contracting HIV.
Johnson returned for the 1992 All-Star game, and then for a brief stint with the Lakers. Five as a player, and five as the minority owner of a franchise. Magic Johnson is still one of the greatest players in LA Lakers history.
2. Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant is one of the most famous legends of franchise history. He spent his entire professional career with Los Angeles Lakers. Black Mamba played 20 seasons for the Lakers from 1996 to 2016
During his illustration career, he won five NBA Championships, two Finals’ MVPs and one Regular Season MVP. Bryant, an 18-time All-Star, was among the greatest players to ever play for the Lakers. Bryant led the Lakers, along with Shaquille o’Neal, to three NBA Championships in 2000, 2001, and 2002. Later, he teamed up with Pau Gasol to win two more titles, 2009 and 2010
Bryant is the fourth highest scorer in NBA history. He ranks ahead of Michael Jordan. Kobe retired from the Lakers in 2016 after a 20-year career. In a tragic helicopter crash in 2020, the NBA legend left for the eternal with his nine-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant.
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abd-Jabbar’s legendary NBA career saw Kareem Abdul Jabbar rack up a record which would last for around four decades. Abdul-Jabbar’s career saw him score 38,387 total points, making him the NBA’s all-time leading scorer until LeBron surpassed him in 2023.
Abdul-Jabbar played 20 NBA seasons between 1975 and 1989. He won five championships with the team, and another with the Milwaukee Bucks. Abdul-Jabbar was one of the most prolific scorers in the history of the NBA. He won the MVP award six times.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar retired from the NBA in 1989 after 19 years of service. He also won Finals MVP with the Lakers and in 1971. Kareem Abd-Jabbar, a 19-time NBA all-star retired from the NBA in 1989.
4. Shaquille O’Neal
Shaquille o’Neal, a beloved NBA legend who is considered one of the best Centers in NBA history, spent an exciting part of his NBA life with the Los Angeles Lakers. Shaq was with the Los Angeles Lakers from 1996 to 2004. He won three championships, all as Finals MVP.
In 2000, he became the first player to win the MVP of the regular season and the Championship & Finals. Shaq went on to win another ring with the Heat. Shaquille retired from basketball in 2011 after playing for the Suns, Cavaliers, and Boston Celtics.
5. Jerry West
West played his entire NBA career for the Los Angeles Lakers. This spanned 14 seasons from 1960-1974. Jerry West is widely regarded as the greatest Lakers guard in history. He was also known as Mr. Clutch was his nickname for his game-winning performances.
West led the LA Lakers in nine NBA Finals throughout his career. Unfortunately, he and his team only won one Championship in 1992. In 1969, he won the Finals MVP award and is the only player who has won this award despite not winning the championship. Jerry West’s silhouette was the inspiration for the NBA logo, which was first introduced in 1969.