Every title-winning team in NBA history did not just have a superstar on the team that led the way, but likely had a great supporting cast as well. In most cases, these title-winning teams have a second superstar that can be just as important as the team’s best player.
This should be relatively fresh in basketball fans’ minds considering that Scottie Pippen, who is arguably the greatest second superstar in NBA history, is being highlighted extensively in ESPN’s ongoing documentary, “The Last Dance”.
In winning 16 championships, the Los Angeles Lakers have had some Hall of Famer suit up in the purple and gold and take on the role of being the second superstar.
We decided to rank the five primary second superstars in Lakers history; one from the early days, one from the Jerry West days, one from the Showtime Lakers, one from the early 2000s Lakers and one from the most recent back-to-back champions.
The one caveat is this: they had to be the second superstar on a title-winning team. There will be a pretty big snub, we’ll explain once we get there.
Los Angeles Lakers’ best second superstars: 5. Jim Pollard
Jim Pollard is the earliest player on this list to play for the Los Angeles Lakers as he was a key member of the team during the Lakers’ earliest years and their first five NBA Championships, ranging from 1949 to 1954.
A gloss over at the box score and you might not be that impressed with Pollard, but basketball was simply different back then. He was the second-leading scorer on the Lakers for four of those first five title-winning teams with Hall of Famer George Mikan leading the way.
Pollard was a four-time all-star and four-time NBA and is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. While there is not much tape to analyze, his comparative numbers as well as the fact that a lot of Laker fans probably would not even know who he is makes him the fifth-best second superstar in team history.