8. Connie Hawkins – 1973-74 and 1974-75 seasons
Another Hall of Famer that spent time with the Lakers, but not known for his time with the Purple and Gold is forward, Connie Hawkins.
Hawkins has one of the most interesting stories in the history of the NBA. He was banned from joining the NBA during his peak years due his name being mentioned in a point shaving scandal involving his Iowa university basketball squad. Despite Hawkins never being directly linked to the scandal, arrested or charged with any crime, he was still expelled from Iowa and prohibited from joining the NBA.
After spending years in the ABA and with the Harlem Globetrotters, Hawkins was finally able to play in the NBA in the 1969-70 season after having his ban lifted as part of a court settlement. At age 27, Hawkins made up for all those lost years by starting his NBA career strong with the Phoenix Suns. Hawkins made the NBA All Star team in each of his first 4 seasons in the NBA.
In his 5th season, already at the age of 31, Hawkins was traded by the Suns to the Lakers for Keith Erickson. The Lakers were dealing with trying to compete in their first season without Wilt Chamberlain who retired the season prior and brought on Hawkins for front court help. Hawkins was a disappointment, never producing anything close to his time with the Suns. In his 2nd season with the Lakers, the team won a disappointing 30 games and missed the playoffs for the first time in 17 seasons.
The Lakers traded Hawkins to the Atlanta Hawks after the 1974-75 season for a 3rd round pick. Hawkins retired from the NBA following this lone season with the Hawks.
Topics: Adrian Dantley Lakers, Connie Hawkins Lakers, Dennis Rodman Lakers, Don Nelson Lakers, Dwight Howard, Gary Payton Lakers, Isaiah Rider Lakers, Karl Malone Lakers, Lakers, Los Angeles Lakers, Mitch Richmond Lakers, NBA, Steve Nash