Ranking 24 worst Lakers starters of the Kobe Bryant era

Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Travis Knight

Kobe did not always get along with his centers, and it started back in his rookie days. Travis Knight was the 29th overall pick in 1996 by the Bulls, but the two sides parted ways before ever playing a game. Knight wound up on the Lakers, and Kobe Bryant remembered Shaq going after the rookie.

"“I remember the first practice. We had Travis Knight on the team, and you proceeded to annihilate this kid. Just from everything. From talking trash to him, he was afraid to get on the bus. One thing I noticed about you from the jump was that you didn’t respect people you could bully.”"

Knight immediately cracked the rotation and made 14 starts. He averaged 4.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks in 16.3 minutes per game. The seven-footer mostly backed up O’Neal before being traded to the Celtics in 1997, but he was dealt back to Los Angels18 months later.

He started 23 games during the 1998-99 season as the seven-footer averaged 4.2 points and 3.5 rebounds in 14.2 minutes per game. Travis Knight was part of the Lakers championship run in 2000, but he rarely saw the floor. He averaged 6.5 minutes per game during the regular season and just 3.4 over 14 contests in the playoffs.

Knight was traded to the New York Knicks in September of 2000. He would play three more years in the NBA before retiring in 2003 at 28 years old. Knight averaged 3.4 points and 3.1 rebounds in 12.3 minutes for his career, so his 37 starters next to Kobe Bryant earned him a spot on this list.

The Los Angeles Lakers had several regrettable starters during Kobe Bryant’s 20 years with the franchise, but it did not stop them from winning five titles. Credit to the Black Mamba for making the franchise competitive no matter who was on the floor.