Lakers greatest role players: 6. Kurt Rambis
Rambis was a key piece of the Lakers dynasty in the 1980s, but he was just a third-round pick that did not even earn a spot on the Knicks roster after being selected in 1980. He went to Greece for one year before the big man signed in Los Angeles in 1981.
Rambis immediately cracked the rotation and did not leave for seven years. He quickly became a fan favorite for doing the dirty work inside and never backing down from a challenge. Rambis complemented the Showtime Lakers’ flashy style with hard-nosed play as he helped them win four championships from 1982 to 1988. He averaged just 5.3 points and 5.9 rebounds in 18.7 minutes per game, but those numbers do not tell the entire story.
He left Los Angeles in 1988 to join the Charlotte Hornets in free agency. Rambis played for three teams over the next five seasons before coming back to the Lakers in 1993 for the final two years of his NBA career. He was in his mid-30s and played a small role off the bench because he was well past his prime.
Kurt Rambis is still a part of the Lakers organization as he and his wife are trusted confidants and advisors of owner Jeanie Buss. The 6’8 forward was a beloved player during the Showtime era, and he remains one of the most popular players in franchise history.