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NBA: Top 5 Players that played for both Celtics & Lakers

  • The Lakers-Celtics rivalry is arguably the NBA's greatest. We name the top 5 players that have played for both teams.
Yash Matange
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 14:55 IST

Shaquille O
Shaquille O'Neal and Rick Fox aren't the only members of the Lakers three-peating squad of the 2000's that also played for the Celtics.

The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers are two of the most successful franchises in NBA history, and by a huge margin too. The Celtics top the charts with 17 championships but the Lakers aren't far behind with 16 of their own. Of 71 possible titles, these two teams account for 33, that's 46.4% of the total.

Now, it's been a while since either of these teams have reached the Finals. In fact, the last time either of these teams went to the NBA Finals, was in 2010, when the Lakers beat the Celtics in seven games. At that time, the two teams accounted for 33 of 64 league titles (51.5%).

The league is in its 72nd year and of the seven decades that have gone by, there's never been one where neither of these franchises have not won a title. Their rivalry is by far the greatest the sport has ever seen, so it's rare for distinguished players to play for both these teams in their career.

Here we rank the top 5 players to don both jerseys, irrespective of the amount of time they spent one of the teams.

Honorable Mention: Brian Shaw

Brian Shaw in both jerseys
Brian Shaw in both jerseys

Career Averages:

Celtics - 178 games - 11.1 points, 6.5 assists, 4.6 rebounds

Lakers - 284 games - 4.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists

Of his 13-year career, Brian Shaw spent seven with these prestigious franchises - four with the Lakers (1999-2003) and three with the Celtics (1988-89, 1990-92). Playing with the LA franchise at the beginning of the millennium is what changed Shaw's life. It made him a champion, a 3-time champion as the Lakers won three straight titles from 2000 to 2002.


Although he played a very limited role off the bench for the Lakers, averaging 16.2 minutes (second-lowest in his career), he was the catalyst behind the team's 15-point 4th-quarter comeback in Game 7 of the 2000 Conference Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Most of his career, Shaw was a very serviceable role player in the league. He was a member of the All-Rookie Second Team in 1989 but other than that, Shaw didn't get a lot of recognition. Other than these two teams, Shaw has also played for the Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat and the Blazers. He was also a member of the Orlando Magic (1994-97) team, led by Shaquille O'Neal, that made it to their first NBA Finals in 1995.

Shaw is currently part of Luke Walton's coaching staff as an associate head coach for the Lakers. He was previously an assistant head coach for the Lakers from 2004 to 2011. He has also been an associate head coach in Indiana before receiving his first head coaching job in Denver from 2013 to 2015.

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Published 12 Feb 2018, 21:24 IST
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