The NBA offseason has been nothing short of depressing. The lockout seems to be going nowhere fast. Kobe has been linked to Turkey, China, and now Italy, even though every Lakers fan wants him to just sit and rest his knees. Gasol has been playing for his country, which may or may not have helped him get over his girlfriend issues. And finally,
Ron Artest Metta World Peace has found new ways to make a fool of himself.
Why not take a look back over the next few weeks at some happier times in the NBA and in Lakerland. I've put together a list of the Top 50 Lakers of All Time, with regard to their impact with the Lakers. That being said, I've left off some hall of famers that were Lakers one-hit wonders (Karl Malone, Gary Payton, etc.), and included some lesser players who meant a lot to certain Lakers teams. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!
50. Sasha Vujacic
Starting off with the most controversial list addition. Let me explain though. He was the type of player that you would have hated had he been on another team. He plays annoying defense, makes crazy facial expressions, never thinks he committed a foul, and went cold from time to time. But "The Machine" could also get fiery hot, and was a part of two NBA Championship teams, even hitting two free throws to ice the game in Game 7 against Boston. In addition, he was a constant form of unintentional comedy for both teammates and fans alike, and added a chemistry factor to the team. I was legitimately a little sad to see him go. Especially because he was inspiring videos such as this:
Chones played 3 seasons for the Lakers, and was a member of the Lakers 1980 NBA Championship team. More importantly, he was the second player ever to leave the NCAA for the NBA before his graduating year. Given the fact that this issue is still under some debate today, it's somewhat of an important distinction. Not quite breaking the color barrier or anything, but hey, it's something.
48/47. Trevor Ariza/Ron Artest
It's hard to think about one of these guys without the other when it comes to the Lakers. They both came in and played defensive roles for the Lakers, each winning one championship with the Lakers. Each had an integral part in the playoffs, Ariza stealing a couple of important inbounds passes and Ron Artest hitting a three in Game 7 against the Celtics. And of course, both were essentially exchanged for each other for virtually the same amount of money as free agents. Artest has probably seen the last of his impact for the Lakers even though he's still on the team. And here's hoping that Ariza has another chance to come back and improve this current Lakers roster in the near future.
46. Ron Harper
Ron Harper followed Phil Jackson to the Lakers in the fateful summer of 1999, and instantly became the starting point guard. Not flashy in numbers or in plays, his calming presence helped the Lakers learn the triangle offense quickly and gave some of the younger Lakers an important veteran influence. He helped the Lakers win back-to-back NBA Championships in 2000 and 2001, topping him out at 5 for his career.Back to the Los Angeles Lakers Newsfeed