The Los Angeles Lakers are a franchise built on star power. From Wilt to Kareem to Magic to Shaq to Kobe to LeBron, the Lakers are always searching for their next superstar, and they continue to have success bringing those megastars to Hollywood.
NBA teams do not win championships just based on superstars, ask the Brooklyn Nets. They need talented players around them that buy into their roles. Guys willing to sacrifice for team success, but capable of stepping up in the crucial moment.
The Lakers always seem to have key role players on their roster that help lift up the team. Here is a look at ten that fans will never forget with the caveat that they were not allowed to be an All-Star with the Lakers. Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Eddie Jones, Nick Van Exel, A.C. Green, and others were eliminated, but LA still has ten key contributors that supporters will always remember.
Lakers greatest role players: 10. Vlade Divac
Divac may be most famous for being the player traded to Charlotte to acquire Kobe Bryant back in 1996 or his battles against the Lakers as a member of the Kings in the early 2000s, but he was an unforgettable Laker as well. Los Angeles drafted him 26th overall in 1989, and he was immediately an impactful part of their rotation at end of the Magic Johnson era.
Divac was the starting center for the Lakers in 1991 when they lost to Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls in the NBA Finals, and he rarely missed a game during his first seven seasons in Los Angeles. He was a force in the paint that blossomed into a strong secondary playmaker. Divac failed to win a ring as he was shipped out of town at the start of the Kobe and Shaq era.
The 7’1 big man returned for his final season in 2004-2005. The Lakers were fresh off losing to the Pistons in the NBA Finals and trading Shaq to the Miami Heat. Divac was 36 years old and played spot minutes as a backup big man as Los Angeles failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2004.
Vlade Divac is a Hall of Famer, but just a one-time All-Star. He was a fantastic role player for 16 years in the NBA with eight of those coming in Los Angeles for the Lakers.