Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Who is the best Laker ever ?
Sports Media has been asking this question all week. Trust me there is no easy answer. In a 95-93 loss to Memphis Kobe Bryant Passed Jerry West as the All time scoring leader in franchise history. Kobe had 44 points on 16 of 28 shooting and absolutely destroyed the Grizzlies. As great as Kobe was the Lakers could not pull out the win as Artest missed a 3 at the buzzer.
The Laker Franchise has 15 championships and has had 5 of the top 10 players of all time put on a purple and gold jersey. But who is the Greatest Laker ever? I was born and raised in LA and I am extremely familiar with Laker history so my top 3 would go Like this.
#3 Kobe Bryant
Kobe is the closest thing that I have seen to Michael Jordan. They play just alike. Same fade away jump shot, same athleticism, same cat like quickness on defense. They are both fundamentally sound and extremely lethal in clutch situations. Kobe, I think is a better shooter and scorer than Mike. He has a better handle and more range on his shot. He has been the best player in the league for the last 7 years and has no weakness in his game. He is a 4 time champion, regular season and finals MVP. Kobe is a top 15 scorer of All Time and the newly crowned All Time leading scorer in Laker history. It is tough to put him at #3 because he is still in his prime and will break more records and win more championships. He may end up being #1 on this list when he retires.
#2 Kareem Abdul Jabbbar
Kareem is the best scorer the game has ever seen. He was the 1st player to have an unstoppable move with the sky hook. he could shoot the sky hook with either hand and up to 15 ft. At 7'2 he was unguardable. He scored over 38,000 points in his 20 year career. 14 of those years was with the Lakers where he won 5 championships. Kareem was a 19 time All Star, 6 time MVP, 2 time Finals MVP. To this day I don't think anybody will be able to break the All Time scoring record set by Kareem. It would take a 20 year career at more than a 20 pt. scoring avg to break it. Kobe has and outside chance but I doubt he could do it.
#1 Magic Johnson
Magic Johnson runs LA. He is easily the most recognizable figure in the state of California and rightfully so. Magic was the most exciting player to watch in NBA history. He had a flare about his game that nobody had seen before. at 6'9 240 he ran the point. He could handle, he could shoot, and he was the best passer the game has ever seen. He was the 1st player that I witnessed play all 5 positions. Most importantly he was a winner. He won 5 championships with the Lakers including a back to back which hadn't been done since the Celtics did it in the 60's. He was a 3 time regular season and finals MVP. Magic and Bird are responsible for saving the game in the late 70' and 80's with their individual and Laker/Celtic rivalry. Magic was the maestro of showtime which epitomized LA as a city with all the glitz and glamour. There will never be another Magic.
Laker fans are serious about the state of the Laker franchise and it is in good hands with Kobe Bryant. True Lakers fans remember the history of great Laker players and pay homage to the likes of Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Shaq, Wilt Chamberlain and James Worthy. To be mentioned as a Laker great puts you in an elite group. I promise if you ask Jack Nicholson he would say the same thing. "I love LA. We Love it"