Ranking the most influential Lakers players of all time

Magic Johnson rookie card (Photo by: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Magic Johnson rookie card (Photo by: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /
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Kobe Bryant Lakers
Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

3. Kobe Bryant

The influence of Kobe Bryant on the basketball world is immense, and it extends beyond only his extraordinary on-court abilities. A generation of young players, including LeBron James, were motivated by Kobe’s unprecedented choice to enter the NBA right out of high school to pursue their aspirations early in life.

Numerous players adopted Kobe’s renowned “Mamba Mentality” as their own motto. His strong determination to succeed, exceptional work ethic, and unrelenting quest for greatness became models for success. This way of thinking has survived his generation, motivating players like Jayson Tatum, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, and Kyrie Irving to approach their play similarly.

Here are a few of Kobe’s accolades as a Laker:

  • 5 NBA Championships
  • 2-time NBA Finals MVP
  • 2008 NBA MVP
  • 18-time All-Star
  • 4-time All-Star MVP
  • 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist
  • Scored 60 points in his final game (against the Utah Jazz in 2016)
  • Became the first Laker ever to retire two jerseys (#8 and #24)
  • 4th in the all-time scoring list (33,643)
  • One of the top 75 greatest players ever

To add the cherry on top, Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s beloved wife and widow, announced that his statue will be immortalized on February 2, 2024.

Players of today are still influenced by Kobe’s legacy to adopt his “Mamba Mentality.” His example serves as a reminder that success requires more than simply inherent skill, as well as unwavering commitment and the will to do better. Kobe’s influence endures as players attempt to emulate his attitude of resiliency, perseverance, and unwavering will to achieve anything.