There have been so many great players that have played for the Los Angeles Lakers through the years. George Mikan, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James.
How about all those other players that have played for the Lakers and have contributed to the success of the organization that do not lead the league in scoring or rebounds but do all the other important things that help make a team successful?
The Lakers have had so many of these wonderful players and only the die-hard fans of the purple and gold know this very well. Therefore, I have compiled a list below of some of the most underrated Lakers of all time.
Derek Fisher was a one-of-a-kind type player. He was an asset to any team he played for. The very cerebral guard was very much like a quarterback or a field general. He ran the floor with great command and understanding of the offense.
A solid defender with a broad build who also had a very nice left-handed jump shot. Fisher was part of five championship Laker teams and spent a good deal of his career as a Laker.
A.C. Green was a warrior. A fearless player who did all the gritty dirty work that many shy away from. He grabbed rebounds, played defense, and hustled. He spent 9 seasons with the Lakers and was part of the classic Back to Back Lakers team in 1986-87 and 1987-88. Green was also a member of the 1999-00 Lakers when they won it all.
Rick Fox was the ultimate role player. A fearless scrapper who played no holds barred. Whether he was a starter or came off the bench, you always knew that Fox was going to give his all. Good shooter, solid defender, and all-out hustler.
Fox was part of the Laker three-peat from 1999-2002. Laker fans will always remember his classic physical battles with Sacramento Kings Doug Christie. Fox got the best of him by far. Just go to the videotape.
Robert Horry will always be remembered by Laker fans. They didn’t call him Big Shot Rob for any old reason right? Horry spent 7 seasons as a Laker and was part of the Laker three-peat from 1999-2002. He will always be remembered for his last-second shot against the Sacramento Kings in game 4 of the Western Conference Finals in 2002.
Vlade Divac may not have been part of any Lakers championship teams but he sure did help contribute when he was a Laker. Divac was part of Laker teams that may have not been the greatest but were competitive.
One team that stands out was the 1990-91 Lakers team that lost the Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the finals 4-1. A great role player, who could rebound and pass the ball well for a big man. Everyone loved Vlade.
Michael Cooper’s name should be known as pure Laker gold. He spent his entire career with the Lakers and was part of five different champion Laker teams. One of the all-time greatest defensive players, Cooper was known as for being a tenacious defensive asset. He made the NBA All-Defensive Team 8 times as well as being Defensive Player Of the Year in 86-87.
Byron Scott’s name should be well known by all fans of the purple and gold. He was part of three championship Laker teams in which he played a huge role. Scott was a quick shooting guard who could run the floor, hustle and had a great jumper. He averaged 21.7 points per game in 1987-88 when the Lakers won it all. Scott was even the head coach for the Lakers for a brief period.
Ron Harper came to the Lakers in 1999-2000. He was a veteran whose best days were behind him but Phil Jackson wanted him because he was part of the Bulls teams that had won championships in 1996-97, 1997-98, and 1998-99, and he was very knowledgeable about Jackson’s triangle offense. A cerebral player with smooth movements, he helped mature the younger members of the Lakers.
Lamar Odom was the total package. At 6-10, he looked like a lanky forward but he moved and ran the floor more like a guard. Good ball-handler, passer, and shooter, he was one of the smartest and most clutch players the Lakers have ever had. Odom was part of two championship teams in 2008-09, 2009-10. He was also the Sixth Man of The Year in 2010-2011.
Metta World Peace, also known as Ron Artest, was a special type of player. Without him, the Lakers do not win the title in 2010. A great defensive player who had spent the early years of his career as one of the main leaders for his former teams in scoring.
When he came to the Lakers, he was a key role player. A very cerebral and fearless warrior type that we see once in a blue.