NBA History: 5 Greatest Los Angeles Lakers players since 2000
The Los Angeles Lakers have always been able to get the biggest stars in the NBA to come play for them. Starting from Hall of Fame players like George Mikan and Elgin Baylor in the 1950s, followed by Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain soon after and then Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson in the 1980s and 90s, LA was never short of great talent.
The more recent Hall of Fame players have also been an integral part in making this franchise a global one, but here's a look at the five greatest Los Angeles Lakers players since the turn of the century. LeBron James and their latest acquisition Anthony Davis have not been taken into consideration for this list.
#5 Derek Fisher
Derek Fisher is five-time NBA champion with the Lakers and has won it all alongside Kobe Bryant. Fisher was a dogged player who set the tone for just how hungry that Lakers roster was for the win. He was known for his ability to make shots when it really mattered.
Fisher was a part of five different teams, but was never as successful as he was in his 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. While he was not a high-scoring player, he was a smart player and took shots when he needed to. Fisher averaged only 7.9 points, 2.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game, but his on-court presence was so much more than his numbers.
He was a superb leader and was one of the most vocal players in the locker room, keeping the team together and motivated after losses. Bryant has gone on record calling him his favorite teammate. While Kobe was the face of the franchise, Fisher was the one who ran the team on the court.
Even though Fisher does not have the stats, he was perhaps one of the most influential players for the Lakers in the past two decades and deserves to be recognized for his leadership and the tenacity on the court with which he led the Lakers, alongside Bryant.