The Los Angeles Lakers have been represented by 18 of the 75 greatest players in NBA history, according to the list released by the league to celebrate its 75th anniversary.
Prominent NBA officials, coaches, players, WNBA legends and members of the media selected the anniversary team, which has been announced this week. Only 11 players who made the list still play in the league. Four of them will fight for L.A.’s 18th NBA championship this season: LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony.
They are joined by a star-studded lineup of NBA legends who have put the Purple and Gold jersey on in their careers. The leaders of the Three-Peat Lakers: Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. Members of the legendary Showtime era: Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob McAdoo and James Worthy. And those who came before them: Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, among others.
The list could arguably be longer. Among notable absentees is Pau Gasol, a two-time NBA champion and 6-time All-Star who will have his jersey retired by the Lakers following his retirement from basketball.
Dwight Howard has also been snubbed despite winning an NBA championship with the Lakers in 2019-20, raking in eight All-Star selections and winning the Defensive Player of the Year award three times. Howard called his snub “disrespectful” on Instagram.
Among the celebrations of the NBA’s 75th season, the league released a video ad that featured many of the Lakers present on the anniversary team. And TNT joined in the festivities, recreating historic NBA photos with today’s stars.
Johnson is serving as the ambassador for the anniversary season and will make appearances throughout the campaign to further promote and honor the NBA’s legacy.
The 18 Lakers legends featured on NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team
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