Los Angeles Lakers: 50 Greatest Players in Lakers History (Updated 2023)

(Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
Dick Barnett #5 (Photo by Robert Riger/Getty Images) /

Greatest Lakers of all time: 41- Dick Barnett

  • 3 seasons, 232 games
  • 16.8 PPG

Dick essentially replaced Frank Selvy in the LA backcourt and paired with Jerry West for three solid seasons, ranking 14th in Lakers PPG. He particularly thrived in his first two seasons, when he averaged over 18 PPG.

The lefty was a bit of a character. He was known for his unorthodox but highly accurate jump shot when he would kick back his heels prior to releasing the ball.

He was also one of the league’s first trash talkers, often shouting “Fall back baby” as he shot his jumper. In essence he was telling his teammates to drop back on defense and rubbing it in to the opposition with the message “Hey, we all know I’m gonna nail that shot, so there’s no need to crash the boards”.

He was traded to the Knicks for forward Bob Boozer, who had one pretty good season with the Lakers before they lost him in the expansion draft to Chicago. Barnett, meanwhile, averaged a career-best 23 PPG in the first of his 8 seasons in New York, and later was a key starter in their backcourt alongside Walt Frazier on their 1970 title team.