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

(Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Greatest Lakers of all time: 21- Rudy LaRusso

  • 8 seasons, 582 games, 4 NBA Finals
  • 14.1 PPG
  • 9.6 RPG

Rudy is another player that current fans may not know. He was the power forward and often the “third banana” on ‘60s Lakers teams that featured Baylor and West. But he was a 3-time all-star, and ranks 8th in RPG, 26th in PPG and 13th in career points.

LaRusso was about the same size as Hairston, 6-7 and 220. Although he often went up against bigger opponents, he used his great strength to play a tenacious, physical game. He was known as a tough competitor, a rugged defender, and an excellent rebounder.

Rudy’s strong offensive skills were somewhat obscured on the Lakers because of the tremendous one-two scoring punch of Baylor and West. Even so, he had a 50-point outburst in a 1962 game. His offensive game emerged more fully during his final two NBA seasons for the Warriors, when he raised his average to 21.3 points.

The Lakers were unable to win any NBA titles when LaRusso played for them, but they were consistently one of the best teams in the league. And Rudy remains one of the least-appreciated first-rate players in team history.