Once Kobe Bryant finally calls it a career in the NBA, the debate about who is the greatest Los Angeles Laker of all-time will kick into high gear.
Three players in team history seem to be in contention for the distinction as the franchise’s best with Bryant, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the running.
Before Friday’s matchup with the Dallas Mavericks, head coach Byron Scott, who played with all three players mentioned, chimed in on the debate. Coach Scott chose to go with Kareem, via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
Byron said he would rank Kareem as the greatest Laker. But Byron puts Kobe and Magic in the conversation
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) November 14, 2015
All three of these Lakers legends won five NBA titles in Los Angeles. Bryant will soon join Abdul-Jabbar and Johnson in the Hall of Fame and will have played 20 seasons with the franchise. A strong case can be made for each one of them to be dubbed the greatest player to dawn the purple and gold, but it all boils down to which era someone has witnessed or been a part of.
Fans that have grown up with or watched the Lakers over the past two decades would more than likely side with Kobe as being the greatest Lakers of all time. Lakers fans that watched the Showtime era may be torn between Kareem or Magic.
It’ll be interesting to see what the narrative will be at the end of Kobe’s career. Bryant has done so much for this organization and has gone through both the good and the bad while defining his own era of Lakers Basketball.