The LA Lakers have seen many great players come and go. However, there are some players such as Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson who played out most of their careers with the LA Lakers. In this article, we look at the top 5 longest tenured Lakers of all time.
Who are the top 5 longest tenured Lakers of all time?
Some NBA players joined the LA Lakers, stayed with them through good and bad times, and led them to Championship glory. These legendary players will forever be remembered in the city of Los Angeles.
Let us have a look at the top 5 longest tenured Lakers of all time.
20 seasons - Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant served as the shooting guard of the LA Lakers from 1996 to 2016, and played a whopping 1346 games for the Lakers. Over these twenty years, he became one of the greatest players to ever don the purple and gold jerseys and won 5 NBA titles for the LA Lakers.
Kobe Bryant was more than just a player for the Lakers. He became the soul of the team and was the favorite son of the city of LA. His iconic fadeaway jump shot, patterned after Michael Jordan himself, will always be a part of the Staples Center in downtown LA.
14 seasons - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, Jerry West
Sharing the second spot on the list of the longest tenured Lakers of all time with 14 seasons each are Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, and Jerry West.
Elgin Baylor and Jerry West were among the greatest NBA players of the 1960s. Baylor played for the Lakers throughout his career from 1958 to 1972, and was a double-double machine with his brilliant scoring and rebounding. He was also well known for his passing and elegant shooting form, and played 846 games for the Lakers in his 14 seasons.
Jerry West became the face of the LA Lakers in the late 1960s while Baylor was on the decline, and played 932 games for the Lakers from 1960 to 1974. West was well known for his brilliant shooting ability in the clutch and cemented his place in LA Lakers history by leading them to the 1972 NBA title.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played for the LA Lakers from 1975 until his retirement in 1979. One of the most physically fit players of his time, the center played 1,093 games for the LA Lakers.
Abdul-Jabbar's time at the LA Lakers was filled with glory as the 'Showtime' Lakers won 5 Championships. His role in the team continued to evolve but it never diminished his presence on the court, making him one of the greatest Lakers of all time.
13 seasons - Derek Fisher, Magic Johnson
Derek Fisher and Magic Johnson played 13 seasons for the LA Lakers in two separate eras of Laker glory.
Derek Fisher had a great career for the LA Lakers from 1996 to 2004 and 2007 to 2012. He played 915 games in purple and gold, and during this time, he teamed up with Kobe Bryant to bring 5 NBA titles to the LA Lakers. Fisher was an integral part of the squad in the late 2000s as a leader in the locker room and a clutch playmaker on the court.
Earvin "Magic" Johnson is one of the greatest players to ever play for the LA Lakers. Johnson played 906 games for the Lakers from 1979 to 1991 and a lone season in 1996.
Johnson led the team to 5 NBA titles during this time and revived the storied rivalry between the LA Lakers and the Boston Celtics. His flashy passes and fast breaks gave the LA Lakers the moniker 'Showtime' in the 1980s.
12 seasons - Michael Cooper, James Worthy
Michael Cooper and James Worthy spent 12 seasons each with the LA Lakers.
Michael Cooper played for the LA Lakers from 1978 to 1990, playing 873 games. During his years the LA Lakers, he gained a reputation for being a great perimeter defender.
Cooper won the Defensive Player of the Year award and was a regular member of the All-NBA Defensive team during his career with the Showtime Lakers. He had 5 Championships with the LA Lakers.
James Worthy is fondly remembered for his tenure with the LA Lakers from 1982 to 1994, over the course of which he played 926 games. Worthy was a starter on the Showtime Lakers playing the small forward position. He was a great scorer and was dubbed 'Big Game James' for his clutch performances, and won 3 Championships with the Lakers in his 12-year NBA career.
11 seasons - Byron Scott
With 11 seasons for the LA Lakers, Byron Scott rounds up this list of legends. Scott played for the Lakers from 1983 to 1993 and 1997.
Scott played 846 games with the Lakers and was a valuable starter in 3 Championship winning Laker teams. He was also a valuable mentor the team late in his career and groomed the young stars that later went on to three-peat in the 2000s.
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Published 05 Sep 2020, 18:20 IST