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) /
18 of 50
Vlade Divac rookie card
Vlade Divac (Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /All) /

Greatest Lakers of all time: 33- Vlade Divac

  • 8 seasons, 535 games
  • 12.2 PPG
  • 8.5 RPG
  • 1.6 blocks

Vlade was the best Lakers center who never played for a title team. When he was drafted in 1989, just after Abdul Jabbar retired, few fans had ever heard of the then 21-year-old 7-foot-1 Serbian.

Divac moved into the starting lineup during his second year and remained there for a total of 6 seasons. Despite his size, he relied more on finesse and agility than on raw power. He was a good but not great scorer and rebounder but was one of the game’s best passing big men.

Vlade was probably best known for mastering the art of the defensive flop. Time after time he’d drop to the floor after the slightest touch in the hope of earning a charge call against the opponent.

Divac was steady and consistent but not spectacular, which was indicative of the good-but-not-great Lakers as a team during that post-Showtime era. He ranks 15th in games played, 20th in career points, 32nd in PPG, 14th in RPG, and made 1 all-star team.

He went on to become an important member of the Sacramento Kings in the late 1990s and early 2000’s. But before that, he made one more significant contribution to the Lakers. On draft day 1996, he was traded to Charlotte for their first-round pick, a guy who was moving straight from high school to the NBA by the name of Kobe Bryant.