- 12/08/2012, 12:08AM ET
Mrlns Fn said 12/08, 12:16 AM
1. Magic Johnson
2. Kobe Bryant
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
4. Jerry West
5. Elgin Baylor
Go ahead and say it. Say my list is sacreligious for putting Kobe too high, or Kareem too low, or whatever it is you're thinking. You know you think I'm wrong, and now you have an opportunity to "prove" it.
Do it. Accept the challenge. The gauntlet has been tossed and you're gonna look like a **** if you don't accept it.
TnerB57 said 12/08, 05:52 AM
There are many things to consider when compiling the 5 greatest L.A. Lakers. Unfortunately for one of the members of your list, and sadly, individual greatness is not one of them. Therefore, I bump Elgin Baylor from this line up. He was truly great, but never reached the pinnacle.
So, here are my top 5:
Magic Johnson (re-vitalized the franchise)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (the model of consistency and excellence)
Kobe Bryant (Jordan light)
Shaquille Oneal (though not even close to being one of my favorite Lakers.
Jerry West (words can't describe this man)
And yes. I do think you're wrong. But it is not your fault. This is a nearly impossible task.
Explanations to follow, follow by a summation or something in the third argument.....
Also, BRING THE POTATO.
Mrlns Fn said 12/08, 09:15 PM
Glad you snagged this one, Nerby. Good luck, my friend!
We agree on Magic; changes include:
-I have Kobe 2 and Kareem 3, you have Kareem 2 and Kobe 3
-I have West 4, you have him 5
-I have Baylor 5, you dropped him for Shaq at 4
This one's tough. Both of these guys are/were elite scorers, obviously. They're two of the five guys in the history of the NBA to score 30,000 points in their career. Both men are/were scoring machines, and although Kareem currently outranks Kobe on the all time scoring list, there are a couple factors that weigh in Kobe's favor.
One: Kobe's not done. It's unlikely that he'll pass Abdul-Jabbar but it's possible, contingent on good health and a new contract.
Two: Versatility. Kareem had the sky hook but Kobe has it all. Inside game, the ability to drive, pull-up jumpers, three pointers, free throws, etc. Kobe's game wasn't nearly as limited as Kareem's, and that brings me to...
Three: Help. Kobe has single handedly willed his team to titles. For teammates, Kareem had Magic, Oscar Robertson, Worthy, Michael Cooper, Rambis, Gail Goodrich, MCAdoo, etc.
Four: MIL. Kareem spent 6 (of his best) years as a Buck.
TnerB57 said 12/09, 05:09 PM
A couple of points to refute here:
Kobe did not "single handedly" will his teams to titles. It wasn't until the arrival of Oneal, that Kobe's Lakers were finally able to win it all. That, and Phil Jackson. Just as Kareem had help, specifically the arrival of Magic Johnson, Kobe needed someone else to make it to the pinnacle. Shaq and Kobe can be argued to be one of the greatest duos in NBA history, which is why Shaq made my list over Baylor, and ahead of West.
For all Elgin's greatness as a player, he just isn't a top five Laker. Helping the team win titles is what makes a great Laker, IMO.
And why the hell did you include Robertson in your argument? This is a Lakers TD, not a Bucks TD. Silly MF.
And Kareem's best years were as a Laker, as his 5 rings with the team will show. Also, Kareem was a better teammate than Kobe. As much as I like Kobe, he can be a real beeyotch sometimes. When Shaq left the Lakers, what happened? No titles, until they were able to bring in significant help for Kobe. Kobe doesn't single handedly to anything.
Shaq is a dork, but he was a great Laker.
Mrlns Fn said 12/10, 04:31 PM
Just real quick, the Lakers won titles in 2009 and 2010 and those teams didn't have Shaq or Magic or anybody like that. Those teams featured Derek Fisher and Trevor Ariza and a bunch of role players; even Bynum and Gasol were role players. Kobe won those titles behind 40 point, 8 assist games.
And I brought up Big O because the point was even with Milwaukee Kareem had help. He also had help in LA; lot's of it. Kareem ALWAYS had Hall of Fame teammates, and guys like that make the game MUCH easier. Kobe won championships with virtual scrubs for teammates.
Elgin Baylor vs. Shaq
Shaq spent 7 marvelous seasons as a Laker and won 3 titles.
Baylor spent 12 seasons as a Laker and led LA to the Finals 8 times, and although he never won a title that had more to do with the utter dominance of the Celtics (who beat those Lakers in 7 of the 8 Finals Baylor went to) than with Baylor's shortcomings, which he didn't really have any.
Baylor averaged over 34 PPG in three spearate seasons and his career PPG is 27.4. His longevity with LA and overall excellence make him a better Laker than Shaq, who was only a Laker for a short time.
Good TD, Nerby, and good luck!
TnerB57 said 12/11, 04:47 AM
Maybe, just maybe, there was something about Baylor, in spite of his greatness as a player, that prevented his Laker teams from reaching the pinnnacle of success.
Maybe, just maybe, Baylor wasn't quite the teammate that he needed to be in order for his Laker teams to come out on top of the Celtics, Knicks, or Hawks in those years. Is it coincidence, do you think, that immediately upon his retirement in 1971, the Lakers embarked on a 33-game winning streak on the way to a long-awaited title? And a 69-13 record that was NBA tops until Jordan & co. topped it.
Baylor was a great player. Shaq was a great Laker. No bones about it.
And as for the last two titles, Kobe had plenty of help. Gasol, Bynum, Odom, and yes even Ariza and Fisher. Those are, when coached and directed as only Phil Jackson can, very, very good players. Were they role players? Sure, if you want to call them that, but damn good ones.
Hell, Magic made a career out of being a role player! His whole existence on the court was to make the others around him better.
Well, thats all I've got. Great TD, MF, and good luck!
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