Los Angeles Lakers: The best individual season in team history

The Los Angeles Lakers have the second-most MVPs of any team in NBA history with eight, trailing only the Boston Celtics, who have ten. The Lakers arguably should have more than the Celtics as well, as Kobe Bryant deserved much more than one MVP in his career.

With eight MVP seasons and countless Hall of Fame players to have donned the purple and gold, the Lakers have had more remarkable individual seasons than any other team in the league, even the Celtics.

The star power is just too strong. If you make your list of the top-15 NBA players of all-time, over a third would have been on the Lakers at some point in their career.

But one question remains: what is the greatest season in Los Angeles Lakers history?

We limited this exercise to the shot-clock era, leaving out George Mikan, who had some truly remarkable seasons with the Minneapolis Lakers that are not going to make the cut.

There are so many great years to choose from; Kobe Bryant going off after Shaquille O’Neal was traded to the Miami Heat, Magic Johnson‘s three MVPs, Shaq’s historic 1999-2000 season where he was the most dominant big man in modern NBA history.

It is not any of those. It does not belong to Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain or Elgin Baylor, either.

The greatest individual season in Los Angeles Lakers history is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar‘s first season in the purple in gold, the 1975-1976 season.

The Lakers were still some years away from being the showtime Lakers as Magic Johnson was not drafted until the 1980 NBA Draft but the team had prime Kareem who was coming off of averaging over 30 points per game in his six seasons with Milwaukee.

Kareem’s first season in LA was his fourth MVP, but it may have been the most impressive season of his career.

Kareem averaged 27.7 points, 16.9 rebounds and 4.1 blocks per game while shooting 52.9 percent from the field. By all accounts of the word, Kareem was literally unstoppable in this season.

This was the last season in NBA history where someone averaged 27 points and 15 rebounds per game and is one of 15 seasons in league history that a player averaged four or more blocks per game.

This was particularly impressive as it came in a time where the NBA was starting to modernize and we were starting to see less of the insane box scores that guys like Wilt Chamberlain would put out.

Kareem dominated in a league with changed rules that were implemented to stop Chamberlain a decade and a half earlier. Compared to Wilt on the Warriors, these numbers might not seem all that great, but in Lakers’ history, they are undoubtedly the best.

It is only the 20th-highest scoring season in Lakers history but is one of just 12 seasons in which a Laker averaged 27 points and 10 rebounds per game. It is the fifth-best season in terms of Win Shares and the best in terms of Value Over Replacement Player.

Next: 4 Lakers head coaches that won the title in year 1

It is the greatest individual season in Los Angeles Lakers history.

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