The other day on the Lakers Nation forums, there was a topic posted by one of our writers, Ramneet Singh, discussing the Lakers’ all-time starting five. After several comments discussing Ramneet’s selection, a commenter, known as EvenSteven, suggested the Lakers have had so many great players throughout the years, they deserve to have an all-time first, second and third team.
A light bulb then went off in my head. Selecting all-time Lakers first, second, third and honorable mention teams would make a great article.
For the four teams I comprised, each position is represented. So I simply didn’t just slap together the five best Lakers of all-time for the first team, regardless of position. Although, I did make a small bend of the rule for the first team. When you see what I did I am sure you will agree.
I also didn’t put the teams together with any kind of on-court cohesion in mind. For instance, I didn’t say: I will put James Worthy on the second team because his playing style meshes better with Shaq than it would with George Mikan on the third team.
Enjoy the article. Any and all comments are gladly welcome.
Nick Van Exel – PG
Byron Scott – SG
Jamaal Wilkes – SF
Robert Horry – PF
Wilt Chamberlain – C
Jamaal Wilkes, who was just inducted into the Hall of Fame, spent his time with the Lakers overshadowed by teammates Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Here’s a great example:
Wilkes had one of the best games of his career in Game 6 of the 1980 NBA Finals against the Philadelphia 76ers. Wilkes finished with 37 points and 10 boards, as the Lakers captured their first championship since 1972.
Wilkes’ great performance quickly became an afterthought, seeing how Magic out-shined his teammate, playing one of the great games in NBA history. Magic, who started at center in place of the injured Kareem, finished with 42 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists.
Wilkes was not only overshadowed by his teammates, but he is also on the bottom of the franchise’s “elite small forward totem pole.” It was impossible to justify placing Wilkes ahead of Elgin Baylor and James Worthy, two other former franchise greats who rocked the small forward position.
The Lakers are going to have a jersey retirement ceremony for Wilkes on December 28th.
Robert Horry beat out Kurt Rambis for the honorable mention power forward selection. Horry’s clutch heroics were more valuable than the energy and hustle Rambis provided the Lakers in the 80s.
Next Page: Third Team