Top 25 Los Angeles Lakers of all time (2023)

The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the pre-eminent franchises in the NBA. To some, they are basketball. The team’s history is littered with iconic players, many of whom are passionately beloved by Lakers fans. Ranking their top 25 players is a tricky task, especially since there is one player a lot of you are going to be mad isn’t No. 1. Here are the top 25 Lakers of all time. LeBron doesn’t make the cut yet.

25. Elden Campbell

Top 25 Los Angeles Lakers of all time (1)

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Campbell began his career with the Lakers, providing a defensive deterrent for nine seasons. He’s third all time in blocks for the franchise, and he averaged double-digit points for his final six years with the team. Though he never made an All-Star team, he had a long, successful career. Since we were reticent to include too many players from the very early days of the NBA, Campbell was a solid choice. Some people actually remember him.

24. Eddie Jones

Top 25 Los Angeles Lakers of all time (2)

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Yes, Jones played only four seasons for the Lakers, but they were quite an impressive four seasons. He made the All-Star Game twice, thanks to his prowess from the three-point line and also his penchant for steals. Jones’ 2.1 steals per game is still a franchise record, and he’s fifth in three-point shots made.

23. Slater Martin

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Martin is a Hall of Famer, and he made four All-Star teams with the Lakers. However, they were the Minneapolis Lakers at the time. He played his first game for the franchise in 1949, which should give you a sense of how long ago it was. Though obviously he was a fine player for his era, basketball was barely the same sport at the time as it is now. Still, his Hall of Fame status is unimpeachable.

22. Nick Van Exel

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Van Exel had quite the career for a second-round pick. He played his first five seasons with Los Angeles, establishing himself as a promising point guard. Though Nick the Quick was never quite able to really take his game to the next level, his last year in L.A. was his only All-Star appearance. But he was a flashy and fun player. He’s also third in three-pointers made and attempted in franchise history, and he averaged 7.3 assists per game.

21. Norm Nixon

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You know who is first in assists per game for the Lakers, but do you know who is second? Well, you do now. Nixon averaged 7.9 dimes per game over six seasons with the franchise. He also averaged 16.4 points and 1.8 steals per contest. Of course, since he played for Los Angeles in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, he got sort of overshadowed.

20. Jamaal Wilkes

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Wilkes is in the Hall of Fame, and though he didn’t spend his entire career with the Lakers, eight of his 12 seasons were in purple and gold. For three seasons he averaged over 20 points per game, and he ranks 10th in franchise history in points and points per game.

19. Derek Fisher

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Though his numbers aren’t as flashy as those of some other former Lakers, Fisher is one of the more beloved players in team history. He certainly feels like a Laker, for what it’s worth. That’s probably because he played 13 years with the team, including on five title-winning squads. Fisher ranks in the top 10 in a few categories, probably in part because he’s fifth in career games for L.A.

18. Rudy LaRusso

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LaRusso (who, if Basketball Reference is to be believed, was known by some as “Honey Boy”) spanned eras because he played for the Lakers in their last season in Minneapolis and their first in Los Angeles. He made five All-Star Games total, three with the Lakers, and he averaged 9.6 rebounds per game with the purple and gold as well. Basketball was less athletic then, but that many rebounds is still impressive.

17. Michael Cooper

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Cooper is a classic Laker, as he played his entire career with the team, including playing for five championship teams. Though his offensive skills were limited, his defensive prowess more than made up for it. He made first- or second-team All-Defense eight times and was Defensive Player of the Year once. Funnily enough, he was also a strong three-point shooter. Had he played 20 years later, he would have been a perennial All-Star.

16. Vlade Divac

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Good old Vlade. He played eight seasons total for the Lakers, although that includes a 15-game cameo in his final season, and he averaged a double-double in two of those campaigns. By advanced metrics, he was a pretty impactful player during his time with the Lakers. He’s eighth in career VORP in franchise history, and he actually ranks second in defensive plus/minus. In fact, he’s 21st in that statistic in basketball history.

15. Lamar Odom

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Odom’s career has been overshadowed by Kardashians and substance abuse issues, but he was a great player who was probably a little before his time. He was the third-best player on two championship teams and won Sixth Man of the Year once. Odom was a heckuva rebounder, and his contributions to the Lakers will not be forgotten by fans.

14. Gail Goodrich

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Goodrich played a few seasons with the Lakers, went to Phoenix and then returned a different player. After rejoining L.A. he averaged over 22 points per game four times. Goodrich made the Hall of Fame largely based on his work with the Lakers, where he averaged 21.6 points per 36 minutes. Lakers fans are probably happy his stint with the Suns turned out to be short.

13. Wilt Chamberlain

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Look, Chamberlain is one of the best players ever. He dominated the NBA. However, he played only five years with the Lakers, and they were the final seasons of his career. Now, he was still a beast who averaged 19.2 rebounds per game with Los Angeles, and he was an All-Star four times. That being said, this isn’t about career numbers. It’s about Lakers legends, and Wilt the Stilt is a little further down the list as a result.

12. Byron Scott

Top 25 Los Angeles Lakers of all time (14)

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Case in point, Scott wasn’t as good of a player as Chamberlain, but he played 11 seasons with the Lakers. That includes several trips to the playoffs where he was quite solid, and he played a part in three title teams. Scott is ninth in total points in franchise history and ranks in the top 10 in a lot of categories, mostly owing to the sheer amount of minutes he played with the Lakers.

11. Vern Mikkelsen

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We’re going old school again for a career-long Minneapolis Laker. Mikkelsen’s career ran from 1949-1959, but it was enough to get him in the Hall of Fame. He made six All-Star Games and four All-NBA teams, and he was one of the best players of his era. He’s also probably the best player ever named “Vern.”

10. A.C. Green

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Green was the NBA’s iron man, and that includes much of his stint with the Lakers. While he didn’t average a ton of points, he had a 118 offensive rating in his time with Los Angeles. That’s second all time in franchise history, actually. Green is also second in offensive rebounds and eighth in total rebounds. He’s synonymous with the Lakers, and the Lakers are synonymous with him.

9. Pau Gasol

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When Pau was traded to the Lakers, it gave the franchise a second wind. He was vital to the team winning two titles post-Shaq. Gasol was an All-Star in his first three seasons with L.A. and racked up the win shares in his time. Had he spent more years with the team, he’d rank a bit higher. However, we are talking about a future Hall of Famer. He just needs to retire first.

8. James Worthy

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Anybody who earns the nickname “Big Game James” is going to be beloved by fans who rooted for him. In this case, that would basically be only Lakers fans, as Worthy spent his entire Hall of Fame career with Los Angeles. He’s fourth in career games with L.A., and he was named Finals MVP in one of the team’s title wins. Big Game James, indeed.

7. Elgin Baylor

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Baylor is, frankly, overlooked in Lakers history. He spent his entire career with the franchise and racked up the points. Baylor averaged 27.4 points per game in his career, highest of any Laker. Oh, it’s also third in NBA history. Like we said, he’s overlooked. For many franchises, Baylor would be on top of the list. It speaks to the depth of this team that he isn’t.

6. George Mikan

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If you ask basketball fans to name one player from the ‘50s, they are probably going to mention Mikan. He is the quintessential player from the earliest days of the NBA. He played only six seasons, and then a brief seventh season after returning from retirement, but in those six seasons he was first-team All-NBA every time. Mikan led the league in scoring the first three years of his career and was inducted into the Hall of Fame way back in 1959. The Minneapolis Lakers won the title five times while he was on the team, and Mikan was the main reason why.

5. Shaquille O'Neal

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Shaq bounced around the league, but his best seasons came with the Lakers. When O’Neal entered the league, he changed the game with his size and strength. He averaged 27.0 points and 11.8 rebounds per game as a Laker, which is amazing. Inexplicably, he won only one MVP, but he won Finals MVP three times. Despite his dominance, you can’t really have Shaq higher than fifth, given the tumult that followed him and eventually led to his exit for Miami. Also, we’re docking points for “Kazaam.”

4. Jerry West

Top 25 Los Angeles Lakers of all time (22)

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We’re talking about the guy in the NBA logo here! West is in the top three in almost every category in Lakers history, including games played and points per game. He averaged over 30 points on four separate occasions and is 25th in career points and 31st in career assists in NBA history. Famously, it took West a while to win a championship, but he was once named Finals MVP in a losing effort. Now that’s respect.

3. Kobe Bryant

Top 25 Los Angeles Lakers of all time (23)

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Don’t hate us, Kobe fans. Bryant’s a true legend, and he’s the iconic Laker of his era. However, the franchise didn’t begin and end with Kobe. Yes, he leads the team in games, minutes, points, field goals attempted and a million other stats. Hell, he’s third in rebounds and second in assists. All that being said, he was not without his flaws. He could be selfish, and was not the most efficient player. There’s no denying Kobe’s greatness, and being the third-best player in Lakers history is no small feat, but we can’t have him any higher than this.

2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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Kareem did spend six years with Milwaukee, but he played for so long he managed 14 seasons with Los Angeles as well. It’s with the Lakers where he, and his skyhook, became the all-time leading scorer in NBA history. He made 13 All-Star Games, won five titles and racked up MVPs. You can’t deny Kareem’s greatness. Had he spent his entire career in L.A. or been a little more lovable, he could have been No. 1.

1. Magic Johnson

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Instead, that honor goes to Magic. Who else could it be? Johnson is the most uniformly beloved Laker. As a 6-foot-9’ point guard, he revolutionized basketball. He could play all five positions and did play center in the playoffs once. It was truly amazing. Magic averaged a whopping 11.2 assists per game and along with Larry Bird helped revitalize the NBA. If you are talking top 25 players in NBA history, Magic is making the list. On the Lakers' list, he’s tops.

Chris Morgan is a sports and pop culture writer and the author of the booksThe Comic Galaxy of Mystery Science Theater 3000andThe Ash Heap of History. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisXMorgan.

FAQs

Top 25 Los Angeles Lakers of all time? ›

Kobe Bryant – Kobe is widely regarded as the greatest Laker of all time. He spent his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, winning five NBA championships, two Finals MVP awards, and one regular season MVP award. He was an 18-time All-Star and a 15-time member of the All-NBA team.

Who is greatest Laker of all time? ›

Kobe Bryant – Kobe is widely regarded as the greatest Laker of all time. He spent his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, winning five NBA championships, two Finals MVP awards, and one regular season MVP award. He was an 18-time All-Star and a 15-time member of the All-NBA team.

Who are the top 5 Lakers players of all time? ›

Over the years, many legends have donned the purple and gold, but there are five who have left an indelible mark on the Lakers' history. These five players are Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neal, and LeBron James.

Who is the Lakers No 1 player? ›

All Players
NOPlayerEXP
1D. Russell Lakers' D'Angelo Russell: Moves to bench D'Angelo Russell Lakers' D'Angelo Russell: Moves to bench7
17D. Schroder Lakers' Dennis Schroder: Set to start Monday Dennis Schroder Lakers' Dennis Schroder: Set to start Monday9
20C. SwiderR
9T. Thompson11
13 more rows

Who were the Lakers Hall of Famers in the 80s? ›

The Lakers' popularity soared in the 1980s when they won five additional championships during a nine-year span with the help of Hall of Famers Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy and coach Pat Riley, the franchise's all-time leader in both regular season and playoff games coached and wins.

Who is Lakers 7 all time? ›

Before he came along, the complete list of Lakers who wore number seven read like this: Marty Byrnes, Kenny Carr, Demetrius Calip, Trevor Wilson, Lester Connor, Derek Strong, Sam Jacobson, Isaiah Rider and Brian Cook.

Who has the highest career scoring average in Lakers history? ›

1.Kobe Bryant5640
2.Jerry West4457
3.Kareem Abdul-Jabbar4070
4.Magic Johnson3701
5.Elgin Baylor3623
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Who is the Lakers most famous fan? ›

The Lakers have been in 62 playoffs over the course of their iconic run, most recently winning the championship in 2020 thanks in part to their superstar player, LeBron James. One of the team's most fervent fans is Snoop Dogg, who got a tattoo in honor of the Lakers in 2020.

Who is the legend in NBA? ›

Legends profile: Michael Jordan.

Who had the best stats on the Lakers? ›

Career Leaders
  • Kobe Bryant* 1346.
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar* 1093.
  • Jerry West* 932.
  • James Worthy* 926.
  • Derek Fisher. 915.
  • Magic Johnson* 906.
  • Michael Cooper. 873.

Who were the Lakers best trios? ›

Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain - The skill of Jerry West, all-around game of Elgin Baylor and dominance of Wilt Chamberlain made this Los Angeles Lakers contingent an all-time great NBA trio.

Who has the most 3s Lakers? ›

Kobe Bryant has sunk the most career threes for the Lakers, with 1,827 three-pointers.

Which player on the 92 Dream Team was not in the Hall of Fame? ›

Laettner is the only member of the Dream Team not to be in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as an individual, although the team was inducted as a whole in 2010.

Who scored most in NBA 80s? ›

Alex English was the NBA's most prolific scorer during the 1980s and retired as the seventh-leading scorer with 25,613 points.

Has LeBron never had a 27 7 7 game? ›

LeBron averages 27/7/7 in his career but never had a 27/7/7 game. He came pretty close tonight. 26 PTS 6 REB 7 AST The Lakers have won 8 of their last 9. He did it in the McDonald's All American game in 2003, fwiw.

Who wore 47 for Lakers? ›

The franchise existed for 11 years before a guy named Chuck Share (number 44) became the first. Three jersey numbers in this range (46, 47 and 48) have never been worn by anyone, and only 32 Lakers total belong to this elite brotherhood.

Who is 0 on the Lakers? ›

PLAYER NEWS
GUARDPOSAGE
Shaquille Harrison #0SG29
Scotty Pippen Jr. #14PG22
Austin Reaves #15SG24
D'Angelo Russell #1PG27
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Has any NBA player scored 90 points? ›

1: Wilt Chamberlain Sets NBA Record with 100-Point Game. No player has even scored 90 in a contest, much less matched Chamberlain's record of 100 points.

Who has the most 40 point games for the Lakers? ›

Kobe Bryant (13)

What year was the Lakers at their best? ›

We consider the 1971-72 team as the best Lakers roster of all-time, and very well could be the NBA's all-time best team. Led by Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West, they would go on to win 69 games, which remained the league's best-ever record for 24 years until Michael Jordan's Bulls pulled off a 72-10 season in 1995-96.

What NBA franchise has the best fans? ›

Golden State Warriors

According to our index, the Golden State Warriors officially have the most loyal NBA fans – by quite some way - with a total supporter score of 4.842 out of 5, even with the team sitting some way short of expectation in the Western Conference.

Who is the most iconic NBA fan? ›

1- Jack Nicholson

The famous filmmaker has been a season ticket holder for the LA Lakers since 1970. The fans of the NBA can often spot him on television during matches. Jack Nicholson has been supporting his team since the times of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson.

Who are the Lakers top players? ›

Who is the greatest NBA player ever? ›

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan is widely known as the game's greatest player—and for good reason. "MJ" accomplished everything possible in the game, piling up on the stats and awards. On the game's biggest stage—the NBA Finals—Jordan went a perfect 6-for-6, also sweeping Finals MVP in his appearances.

Who is better LeBron or Jordan? ›

Jordan was the flashier scorer – 10 scoring titles and the highest career scoring average in NBA history – and the better defender (leading the league in steals three times), while James has been the better playmaker with 106 career regular-season triple-doubles to Jordan's 28.

Who leads the NBA in all time? ›

LeBRON JAMES

Who has the most rebounds for the Lakers? ›

Elgin Baylor

Who is the Lakers all time leader in PPG? ›

LeBron James has the most career points per game for the Lakers, with 27.4 per game.

Who averages most turnovers on Lakers? ›

Russell Westbrook had the most turnovers for the Lakers this season with 184 turnovers.
NAMESEASONPPG
Russell Westbrook2022-2315.9
LeBron James2022-2328.9
Anthony Davis2022-2325.9
Dennis Schroder2022-2312.6
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Is the number 13 retired for the Lakers? ›

Gasol's jersey represents the 13th number retired by the Lakers honoring 12 players. Bryant's early-career No. 8 and late-career No. 24 are both retired.

Who won the most NBA championships? ›

Image of Who won the most NBA championships?
The Golden State Warriors are an American professional basketball team based in San Francisco. The Warriors compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Western Conference Pacific Division.
Wikipedia

How many Lakers are in the Hall of Fame? ›

Twenty-six Hall of Famers have played for Los Angeles, while four have coached the team. Four players—Abdul-Jabbar, Johnson, O'Neal, and Bryant—have won a combined eight NBA MVP awards with the Lakers.

Who started the Big 3 in NBA? ›

Big3 (stylized BIG3) is a 3-on-3 basketball league founded by hip hop musician and actor Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz. The league consists of 12 teams whose rosters include both former NBA players and international players.

Which Laker was a 3 peat team? ›

For the Lakers, it was their second in franchise history, and only the first since moving from Minneapolis. As of 2022, the Lakers are the last team of the 4 major American professional sports (NHL, MLB, NFL, & NBA) to accomplish the three-peat.

Who won 3 peat MVP for the Lakers? ›

Russell, Chamberlain, and Bird are the only players to win the award in three consecutive years.
...
Teams.
AwardsTeamsYears
10Boston Celtics1957, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1973, 1984, 1985, 1986
8Los Angeles Lakers1976, 1977, 1980, 1987, 1989, 1990, 2000, 2008
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Who has the most total 3s in finals? ›

Stephen Curry: 9 (Warriors vs.

It might be no surprise that Curry holds the mark for the most 3-pointers in an NBA Finals game.

Who is the best 3-point shooter for the Lakers? ›

#1 The LA LAkers' best 3-point shooter: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. At times this season, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has shown absolutely torn apart teams with his outside shooting. However, much like Danny Green, KCP has sometimes gone on cold stretches where he found it difficult to buy a 3-pointer.

Who was the only player to score 100? ›

On March 2, 1962, Wilt Chamberlain set the NBA single-game scoring record by tallying 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors in a 169-147 victory over the New York Knicks. Not 98 points, not 102, but a nice, round 100 — an imposing record set by a most imposing player.

What Hall of Famers never made an All Star game? ›

Hall of Famers like Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson and Cy Young never appeared in an All-Star Game because there was no All-Star Game at the time.

What NBA team has no Hall of Famers? ›

The New Orleans Pelicans are the only franchise without a single Hall of Famer in franchise history.

Who is 99 retired on the Lakers? ›

Mikan's 1948 Bowman trading card was at one point the most expensive basketball card ever sold. In October 2022, he was inaugurated in the Croatian-American Sports Hall of Fame. On October 30, 2022, the Lakers retired Mikan's No. 99 jersey.

Is 23 retired in LA? ›

Over the weekend, the L.A. Kings honored Dustin Brown at the Cryto.com arena retiring his jersey following his final season, capping off nearly two decades with the team. Brown was drafted in 2003 and played his entire career for the Kings, retiring at the end of the 2021-22 season after 18 years in the league.

Who wore 23 for the Lakers? ›

23 Lakers Jersey. Anthony Davis wore the No. 23 at both Kentucky and with the New Orleans Pelicans, but LeBron James also wore the number, and given James' seniority, it was assumed he would keep the number with the two paired on the Los Angeles Lakers.

Will LeBron pass Kareem? ›

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the No. 1 spot on the NBA's all-time regular-season scoring list (38,387 points) on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.

Has anyone ever scored 80 points in an NBA game? ›

Bryant's 81-point game is almost as famous as Chamberlain's 100. It's the only other time in NBA history a player has scored 80 or more points in a game, and only one other player (Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns) has hit 70 points since then.

Who has the most NBA wins past decade? ›

Which NBA team has the most wins since 2010? The San Antonio Spurs have won 680 games since 2010, which is the most in the NBA. Their record in that timespan was 680-431.

Who is better Kobe or LeBron? ›

The Bottom Line: While LeBron is much more of a team player than Kobe was, and is more dominant and holds better stats, Kobe was a more versatile and complete player, a virtuoso with amazing skills and defense abilities. So, in the Kobe vs. LeBron debate, which of these two NBA superstars outshines the other?

Why Kobe is the greatest Laker of all time? ›

Because he played his entire 20-year career with the Lakers. At age 37, scored 60 points in his final game, which was in LA. For 13 straight seasons ('01-'13) he averaged 28 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 5 APG, and 1.6 SPG while garnering 11 All-Defensive Team selections in that span (12 for his career).

Is Kobe Bryant the greatest ever? ›

Kobe was not the greatest basketball player of all time. But he's in this observer's top 10, alongside Wilt Chamberlain, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Shaquille O'Neal, and Oscar Robertson.

Who is better than Michael Jordan? ›

Longevity. LeBron James is now in his 20th season in the NBA and is still the best player on the court almost every single time he throws his jersey on. Jordan played only 15 seasons, after retiring twice and taking five years away from the sport in between.

Who is better Kobe or Curry all-time? ›

In 134 career playoff games, Curry is averaging 26.6 points, 6.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds per contest while shooting 40.1 percent from beyond the arc. Bryant played in 220 postseason contests across his 20 NBA seasons and logged 25.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists to go along with a 33.1 percent clip from deep.

Who is a better player LeBron or Curry? ›

Curry holds a 3-1 advantage in the head-to-head series (3-2 if you count 2021) in part because his teams have always been better than James' teams. The Warriors have been the favorite over James' Cavaliers in all four Finals series.

Was Kobe a better scorer than Jordan? ›

To add icing on the cake you can say that Jordan had an overall statistical output than Bryant. He averaged more points (4.8 PPG), rebounds (0.9 RPG), assists (0.6 APG) while shooting 4% better than Bryant. It's true, Jordan was an excellent shooter.

Who is better Larry Bird or Kobe Bryant? ›

As far as a direct comparison goes, Kobe Bryant won 2 more championships and Larry Bird won 2 more MVP awards. Both retired with 2 Finals MVP trophies to their name.

Who is the most admired NBA player? ›

1. Michael Jordan. Ten scoring titles, nine All-Defensive First-Team nods, six Finals MVPs, five MVPs, and got his first one in 1988 when he was also the All-Star Game MVP and the Defensive Player of the Year.

Who has better stats than Kobe? ›

NBA Statistics
PlayerNBA ChampionAll-NBA
Michael Jordan611
Kobe Bryant515
LeBron James417
Jan 26, 2022

What is Kobe's most famous quote? ›

Kobe Bryant continues to be a source of inspiration for fans after his death with his "Mamba mentality," a mantra for the competitive spirit, including non-athletes. As the NBA icon said best: "Hard work outweighs talent — every time."

Who was the best NBA team in the Kobe era? ›

1 Los Angeles Lakers

The dominant big man and poster child for talent meeting hard work strung together a 3-peat, winning the title in 2000, 2001, and 2002.

Who has the most 3s in Lakers history? ›

Kobe Bryant has sunk the most career threes for the Lakers, with 1,827 three-pointers.

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