Where do Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal Place in the Greatest Lakers List?
Photographer Fred Brisker is a huge sports fan. Before the pandemic hit, he would normally follow the NBA, especially his favorite team, the Los Angeles Lakers.
In today’s blog, Fred Brisker pays tribute to one of the greatest duos in NBA history, the late great Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. He also lists down the 10 greatest Lakers in franchise history and looks at where both Kobe and Shaq stand.
10. Nick Van Exel
Nick the Quick was the leader of a plucky Laker team in the ‘90s that tried to survive a post-Magic, pre-Shaq era. This lefty was a dead-eye shooter and one of the craftiest shoot-first PGs in league history.
9. Pau Gasol
Alongside Kobe Bryant, Spanish big man Pau Gasol won the last two NBA championships for the franchise. He made his own mark, which is especially difficult in a franchise known for some of the greatest centers of all-time in the NBA.
8. Elgin Baylor
For 14 seasons, Elgin Baylor played the small and power forward positions for the Lakers to perfection. He was a great shooter and an excellent rebounder, and was highly consistent for over a decade.
7. James Worthy
James Worthy was a huge part of the ‘80s Showtime Lakers, which is arguably the most popular era for long-time Laker fans. Worthy had the speed and explosiveness for the forward position and could finish a fast break as easily as smaller players.
6. Wilt Chamberlain
Arguably the most dominant force in the history of the NBA, Wilt Chamberlain’s monster numbers speak for themselves. Almost nobody could contain this freak of nature, who was truly a once-in-a-lifetime marvel, adds Fred Brisker.
5. Jerry West
Mr. NBA himself, Jerry West has been the symbol of the league for the longest time. He has also been the Lakers’ leader as a player, winning a championship himself, and a key figure in franchise management for decades.
4. Shaquille O’Neal
Had Shaq been born a few decades early, he would’ve given Wilt a run for his money. But as it stands, the Diesel has become the most dominant big man in the modern era of the NBA. He was virtually unstoppable during his peak years with the Lakers, with his only weakness being his free throws.
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is noted as being arguably the greatest college basketball player in history, the greatest center in NBA history, and has always been in the GOAT conversation. But in Lakers lore, that lands him at the third spot.
2. Kobe Bryant
As much as Fred Brisker loves Kobe, the Black Mamba is only second in the all-time Lakers list – and that’s not bad at all. Kobe leads all Lakers in most of the all-time stats and has himself delivered five championships to the city.
1. Magic Johnson
Nobody symbolizes the spirit of the Los Angeles Lakers more than Earvin “Magic” Johnson. He had the talent, the drive, and the charisma, not only winning five NBA titles, but also multiple MVPs. Magic could play just about any position, and be the best at it.