The Los Angeles Lakers have had more NBA legends suit up in the purple and gold than any other NBA team has to its name. There is a reason why the Lakers are the most historic team in the league with 17 championships to the franchise’s name.
Everyone knows who is at the top of the all-time greatest Lakers list. There are a select few players in franchise history who have earned the honor of being among the greatest of all time.
But what if we used a specific measurement to rank the best players in Lakers’ history? And what if that measurement is something that has become very popular in recent years, triple-doubles? The list certainly looks different than when we are just ranking by legacy.
But before diving into the players with the most triple-doubles in franchise history, some might be asking an important question:
What is a triple-double in basketball?
A triple-double is when a player finishes a game with 10 or more in three different statistics (not including turnovers). The most common triple-double that players record are with points, rebounds and assists, although there have been some triple-doubles that were recorded with blocks or steals instead.
Typically, recording a triple-double means that a player had an impact in all areas of the game as they were not only able to score, but assist their teammates in scoring while also grabbing rebounds to start transitions.
Lakers all-time leaders in triple-doubles:
There are 11 players in franchise history who have recorded at least five triple-doubles while donning the purple and gold.
- Magic Johnson — 138
- LeBron James — 34
- Elgin Baylor — 25
- Kobe Bryant — 21
- Jerry West — 16
- Russell Westbrook — 14
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — 13
- Wilt Chamberlain — 8
- Elmore Smith — 6
- Pau Gasol — 5
- Julius Randle — 5
There are a lot of the same usual suspects on this list as an all-time list in franchise history. Magic Johnson is either the greatest Laker of all time or the second greatest depending on who you ask and he has a firm grip on first place in these rankings. Chances are no one will ever catch him.
But then you have LeBron James at No. 2, who has played so many fewer games than some of the legends behind him on this list. That simply shows how big of an impact James has on the game and how unique he is as a superstar.
Baylor, Bryant and West all crack the top five because of their tenures with the team but Westbrook is an interesting inclusion as he lasted just a year and half in LA and it was a disaster. In his case, the triple-doubles were not helping the team.
The rest of the top 10 is rounded out by bigs who all have their place in Lakers history, with Julius Randle making a nice little cameo to round out the 5+ club. All in all, there are 26 players in franchise history who have recorded a triple-double.