The Los Angeles Lakers are on a run right now. They have the best record in the Western Conference, and they’re going to leave it all in the court en route to a trip back to the NBA Finals.
The Lakers haven’t even been in the playoffs since 2013, so you know this season is personal for them. LeBron James wants to win another ring, Anthony Davis wants one of his own, Dwight Howard is looking for redemption, etc.
But, what about the last time the Lakers won the Championship? what happened with that 2010 team that beat the Boston Celtics? Let’s break it down:
Derek Fisher – Coach
Derek Fisher was a perfect fit for Phil Jackson’s triangle offense. He could run the point but mostly played off-ball, cutting and knocking down catch-and-shoot three-pointers. He didn’t shot the ball well from deep in the Finals, though (20%). After his playing days were over, he tried his luck as the coach of the New York Knicks. He spent three seasons there.
Kobe Bryant – Author, Coach, Producer
Well, 2010 was Kobe Bryant’s last Championship run. He led all scorers in the playoffs with 671, averaging 28.6 on 40% in the Finals and winning the Finals MVP award. He retired in 2016 and has been all around ever since. He won an Oscar for ‘Dear Basketball’, started a wizardry-related basketball book saga, is coaching his daughter’s basketball team and also works out with NBA stars in the summer.
Ron Artest – Coach
Ron Artest, A.K.A. Metta World Peace, A.K.A Panda Friend, is one of the most controversial NBA players ever. He’s also one of the toughest, most hardnosed defenders you’ll ever find, so he played a major role in this Championship. Artest then took his talents to China before a brief NBA comeback. Now, he’s a development coach for the South Bay Lakers, the Lakers’ G-League affiliate.
Pau Gasol – Assistant Coach
Pau Gasol was the missing piece Kobe Bryant needed to go back to the top of the basketball world. He always embraced his role, and did none of the talking, but a lot of the world. He later played for the Bulls, Spurs, and Bucks. This season, he signed a deal to join the Blazers, but wasn’t able to play due to a foot injury. However, he immediately joined their coaching staff.
Andrew Bynum – Retired
Andrew Bynum is one of the most talented players the Lakers had in the past two decades. However, his poor work ethic and struggles with injuries stopped him from fulfilling his true potential. After winning the Chip with the Lakers, Bynum bounced around the league and last played for the Indiana Pacers in 2014.
Lamar Odom – Retired
Lamar Odom was fairly beloved by the Los Angeles community. He was a passionate player that left his heart and soul on the hardwood night in and night out. Also, he could play both forward spots and as a center as well, so he was the first guy off the bench back then. Sadly for them, his problems to stay off drugs and alcohol have put his life in jeopardy more often than not, and he hasn’t been able to come back to the NBA ever since leaving in 2013.
Shannon Brown – Retired
Shannon Brown played a minimum real coming off the bench for the Lakers during the Finals. Through 7 games, he totaled 80 minutes and scored just 3.0 points per game. After winning the Championship, he bounced around the league and played for the Suns, Spurs, Knicks, and Heat. His last team was the Delaware 87ers of the G-League in 2018.
Jordan Farmar – Retired
Jordan Farmar barely played at all during the Los Angeles Lakers’ championship run. However, he embraced a much bigger role with the team a couple of years later after leaving to play for the Nets. He tried his luck overseas and then came back to the Lakers to become a starter, he also played for the Clippers, and Grizzlies, and he lastly played for the Kings in 2016.
Sasha Vujacic – Tezenis Verona
Sasha Vujacic had a long and successful career with the Los Angeles Lakers. However, he mostly played off the bench and as a role player for defensive purposes. After leaving the Lakers, he played for the New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, and New York Knicks. He’s currently playing for Tezenis Verona from Italy’s second-flight league, the Serie A2.
Josh Powell – Atenas de Cordoba
Josh Powell’s journey to the NBA wasn’t an ordinary one. He fought his way to the league after playing in Europe, but he was never able to actually establish himself as a steady contributor. After three years with the Lakers, he played for the Hawks and then bounced around the world looking for a team. He’s currently playing in Argentina for Atenas de Cordoba.
Luke Walton – Coach
Luke Walton was far from the dominant player his father was. However, he managed to stay put at the Staples Center for most of his career as a steady contributor. He played for 9 seasons with the Lakers and then had a brief stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Later, he’d be signed as the team’s head coach for three years but was eventually fired and replaced with Frank Vogel. Now, he’s the Sacramento Kings’ coach.
Adam Morrison – Retired
Adam Morrison is widely considered as one of the biggest busts in the history of the NBA. After being drafted 3th overall by the Bobcats, he was barely able to stay in the NBA for four seasons. As a matter of fact, he didn’t even play a single minute in the Lakers’ Final’s run. He played in Europe a couple of years, but also struggled and retired in 2012.
Didier Ilunga-Mbenga – Barako Bull Energy Cola
Didier Ilunga-Mbenga played a grand total of 2.7 minutes during the NBA Finals, which was a third of the playing time he was used to during his playing career with the Lakers. He was often the last man off the bench, so that doesn’t come as a surprise. Later, he played for the Hornets before taking his talents to China. Now, he’s playing for the Barako Bull Energy Cola in the Philippines.