The reigning NBA champions LA Lakers are one of the most storied franchises in the history of basketball. The Lakers have won 17 NBA titles, with 11 of them coming in the modern era, which makes the LA Lakers arguably the most dominant team in the NBA.
Combine that with the Hollywood life and warm weather throughout the year, Los Angeles has been one of the hottest destination for superstar free agents every summer.
5 superstars who could not win a ring with the LA Lakers:
While most have succeeded with the historic franchise, a few failed to live up to the Lakers tag. On that note, we take a look at five superstars who have failed with the LA Lakers.
5) Karl Malone
The mailman spent just one season with the LA Lakers after spending 18 seasons with the Utah Jazz.
A first-ballot Hall of Famer by then, Karl Malone missed out on an NBA Championship despite joining the likes of Shaq and Kobe, who had just three-peated.
It turned out to be Karl Malone's last realistic chance to win a ring. He went all in and made it to the NBA finals that year but couldn't get over the hump. The 14-time all-star is one of the most high-profile stars to have played for the LA Lakers not to have won a championship with the franchise.
4) Dwight Howard
The LA Lakers signed Dwight Howard in 2012 in the hope of creating another Shaq-Kobe like dynasty.
Dwight Howard back then was the most dominant center in the league, and his defensive presence around the rim was massive. Kobe Bryant was at the tail end of his career and wanted to bow out with another win. However, it was too much for Howard to handle, and the duo flamed out in just the first round of the playoffs that year.
Nevertheless, Howard put up a respectable 17.1 points and 12.4 rebounds that season with the LA Lakers. Dwight Howard would eventually go on to win a ring with the LA Lakers as a role player in the 2019-20 season to salvage some of his legacy as a LA Laker.
3) Vlade Divac
Vlade Divac joined the LA Lakers as a European prospect who couldn't even speak English but spent a major portion of his career with the Lakers.
He even reached the 1991 Finals but got beat by MJ and the Bulls in the finals. Divac was a dynamic big man and kept the opposing team on alert with his tough defense, consistent rebounding and effective scoring inside the paint.
Divac also had some key battles against Shaq when the latter was with the LA Lakers, and Divac was with the Sacramento Kings.
Also Read: Five early contenders to acquire James Harden.
2) Steve Nash
Much like Malone, Steve Nash spent a small stint of his already Hall of Fame career with the LA Lakers. The Lakers traded for him in 2012 after Chirs Paul was snapped up by the LA Clippers.
The two-time MVP was thought to be a great fit alongside Kobe Bryant, but injuries kept Nash away from the court. In two seasons with the LA Lakers, Nash played only 65 games and was largely a pale shadow of his illustrious self when he was on the court for the Lakers.
Nevertheless, Nash is one of the greatest players to have donned a LA Lakers Jersey and not win a ring in the NBA while playing for the franchise.
1) Elgin Baylor
Elgin Baylor spent his entire 14-season NBA career with the LA Lakers. He reached as many as eight NBA Finals with the historic franchise but came up short on each occasion.
After developing a nagging knee injury in the 1971-72 season, Baylor decided to retire after just playing nine games that season. Incidentally, the LA Lakers won the championship that season.
Considered to be one of the greatest players never to have an NBA title, Elgin Baylor was known for his unique athleticism and for being a great shooter who consistently put up big points. His scoring prowess was instrumental in the LA Lakers reaching eight NBA finals; unsurprisingly, he is truly considered one of the greatest LA Lakers player ever.Published 14 Nov 2020, 20:00 IST