Lakers greatest role players: 7. Rick Fox
Fox was already an established veteran by the time he arrived in Los Angeles in 1997. The first-round pick in 1991 and spent his first six seasons in the NBA in Boston. The Celtics made three playoff appearances in that span, but they failed to reach the postseason as Fox blossomed into a starter and key contributor in his final two seasons in Beantown.
The 6’7 forward was in his prime and helped the Lakers reach the conference finals in his first season in Los Angeles. He played all 82 games and averaged 12.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.2 steals in 33.0 minutes per contest. Fox was not always a starter, but he played a key role in the Lakers’ three-peat from 2000 to 2002.
During Fox’s seven seasons in LA, the team won three championships, made four NBA Finals appearances, advanced to the playoffs seven times, and made it to at least the second round of the postseason every year. Fox retired in 2004 after being traded back to Boston.
Rick Fox was a starter on two championships teams, and number 17 will never be forgotten. He played hard-nosed defense and helped space the floor for Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal to dominate.