From short to tall, the Los Angeles Lakers have some legends.
The Los Angeles Lakers are the most historic team in the NBA, period. The Boston Celtics might have one more championship than the Lakers, but the Lakers have more title-winning eras as well as more superstars that have come through the ranks.
If you make a list of the 20 greatest NBA players of all-time at least a fifth of the list is going to be players that played for the Lakers.
Recently, Bleacher Report put out a list on Twitter of the NBA GOAT at every height and there were four former Lakers that were included. With so many superstars in team history, we decided to do the exact same list, only using Laker players.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ GOAT at every height:
Under 6’0″: Herm Schaefer
Isaiah Thomas was Bleacher Report’s choice for the under six-foot GOAT but he spent so little time on the Los Angeles Lakers and was not nearly enough to be considered in this list. Instead, the honor goes to Herm Schaefer, who played for the Minneapolis Lakers for just two seasons.
He averaged 7.6 points, 3.2 assists and played 123 games for the Lakers. He leads all players under six-foot that have played for the Lakers in win shares.
6’1″: Gail Goodrich
Gail Goodrich is a Hall of Famer and is probably the fourth-best guard in Lakers history, behind other guards that made this list. Goodrich was implemental in the Lakers winning the 1972 NBA Finals and beats out some other big names such as Derek Fisher and Nick Van Exel.
6’2″: Jerry West
C’mon now, does this even need explaining? He was named as the greatest 6’2″ player in NBA history and he is one of basketball’s most iconic players. He is the logo of the NBA for a reason, you know.
6’3″: Byron Scott
The greatest player in Lakers’ history to never be named to an all-star team. Byron Scott was the epitome of what a role player should be on a title-contending team and while he sometimes does not get the credit he deserves, I would go out on a limb and say he is the fifth-best guard in team history behind Gail Goodrich.
6’4″: Jim Pollard
Another player from the Minneapolis days, Jim Pollard’s numbers don’t immediately jump off the page by today’s standards but for his time he was an excellent player and has a healthy leading margin for win shares among 6’4″ Lakers.
Pollard played for the Lakers from 1949-55, averaged 13.2 points per game and was a four-time all-star.
6’5″: Elgin Baylor
Another all-time great that sometimes gets forgotten about as there are just so many legends in Lakers history. Baylor was absolutely dominant for his time and it is a shame that he could not have properly added a ring to his mantle with the team in 1972.
Michael Cooper is also another all-time great for the Lakers that was 6’5″.
6’6″: Kobe Bryant
The greatest player in franchise history who was not included in the NBA GOAT list. Unfortunately, Michael Jordan is also 6’6″ and you cannot really argue that, but Kobe is definitely 1A behind Jordan and is the captain of this team.
6’7″: Vern Mikkelsen
Mikkelsen also played in the Minneapolis days and is now in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was the second-best player on the Minneapolis dynasty that won five championships (Mikkelsen won four) and was a six-time all-star and four-time All-NBA member himself.
6’8″: Kurt Rambis
I wish that we could take some of the star-studded members that were 6’9″ and move them down to 6’8″. Kurt Rambis was a solid role player but it is his longevity more than anything that makes him a Lakers great.
6’9″: Magic Johnson
The second greatest player in Los Angeles Lakers history checks in at 6’9″ and keeps some really great players from making the team. Most notably, James Worthy will not make the team as he is 6’9″ and neither will LeBron James.
If only one of them were an inch shorter to take Rambis’ spot.
6’10”: George Mikan
The first superstar in Lakers’ history that led the team to its first five championships. Mikan averaged 23.1 points and 13.4 rebounds per game and led the league in scoring three times in his seven-year career.
6’11”: Elden Campbell
There are some big men that I wish were 6’11” to take Campbell’s spot as there are some notable names that will not make the team that were much better than Campbell was. Campbell was a fine player for the Lakers during a forgettable stretch in the 90s but still has a significant edge in terms of career win shares.
7’0″: Pau Gasol
The best straight seven-footer in team history in Pau Gasol, who is responsible for helping Kobe Byrant win championships four and five. Gasol was exactly what the Los Angeles Lakers needed at that time and without Gasol, the Lakers would still have 14 championships.
7’1″ and above: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the three greatest players in NBA history and you could make a legitimate case that he is the deserving basketball GOAT.
Regardless, he is undoubtedly the best player in Los Angeles Lakers history to be over seven feet tall as he was a three-time MVP and five-time champion in Los Angeles.
Kareem keeps two of the greatest players in Lakers’ history off the team in Shaquille O’Neal and Wilt Chamberlain, both of which would have made it over Campbell with half of their current resumes.