As we head into the next Los Angeles Lakers season, and a new era in Lakers basketball, the staff here at Lakers Nation has decided to take a look back and rank the 20 greatest Lakers of all-time.
The staff put together a list of the most significant figures in franchise history based on accolades, achievements and statistics. While there were many deserving candidates, the group was ultimately narrowed down to 20.
The rankings were determined by solely focusing on each individual’s accomplishments with the Lakers. Without further ado, here’s selection no. 13.
Seasons with Lakers: 9
Statistics: 19.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.5 SPG, 46.0 FG%
Accolades: 1971-72 NBA Champion, 4-time All-Star (1972-75), First Team All-NBA (1974), Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (Class of 1996)
Gail Goodrich was a territorial pick by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1965 NBA draft out of UCLA. In his first three seasons with the Lakers, his playing time was a bit limited as he was behind Jerry West on the depth chart.
In 1968, the Lakers lost Goodrich to the Phoenix Suns in the expansion draft, where he blossomed into a star before being traded back to the Lakers after the 1969-70 season. It was in this second stint that Goodrich really showed his greatness.
After returning to Los Angeles, Goodrich was named to the All-Star game in four consecutive seasons and helped the Lakers capture the 1971-72 NBA Championship, the franchise’s first since moving from Minneapolis to Los Angeles.
That season was a memorable one as the Lakers, led by Goodrich, West and Wilt Chamberlain, won an NBA-record 33 straight games. Goodrich led that legendary team in scoring, averaging a career-high 25.9 points per game to go along with 3.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists while playing all 82 games for the first time in his career.
Overall Goodrich was named an All-Star five times in his 14-year NBA career, with four of them coming in Los Angeles and was named to an All-NBA team in 1973–74 when he averaged 25.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 5.2 assists.
Goodrich was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996, and that same season he had his No. 25 jersey retired by the Lakers where it remains today in the rafters at the Staples Center.
He doesn’t always get the same acclaim as the likes of other Lakers stars, but Goodrich was as good of a scorer as this franchise has ever seen and the perfect pairing with Jerry West.
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