Ever since the NBA suspended the season last March 12, fans, analysts and even players have started to show their opinion on current and old NBA-related topics, especially about the best players in history, the best players in the league at this moment or the best squad of all time in the game or for a specific team.
Recently, ESPN put together the list of the best starting fives in the Western Conference. This is not an easy job, but it’s fair to say they did it well. However, when you talk about the Los Angeles Lakers, there is a name that doesn’t appear in their all-time starting lineup. They picked Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Shaquille O’Neal.
The Lakers have one of the richest histories in the game, but it’s odd to see that they didn’t mention LeBron James as part of that hypothetical team. Bron is one of the best players in NBA history, but for Dave McMenamin, he hasn’t been around that long to be considered an all-time Laker great.
The fifth pick was harder. Is it Elgin Baylor, the greatest small forward in franchise history? Or how about LeBron James, the greatest small forward in NBA history? How about James Worthy, who teamed up with Magic and Kareem and won a Finals MVP?
Ultimately, the pick is West. Baylor never won a ring. James hasn’t been a Laker long enough. Worthy would have to play the 4 and you already have Shaq and the Captain on the blocks. The Logo brings shooting and toughness and leadership, and he is extremely important to the franchise as a whole for his post-playing days in the front office.
Before the suspension of the season, Bron was leading his team to become the best in the league. He has taken the Lakers back to the top after six or seven years playing bad and having terrible campaigns. If he sticks around in Los Angeles and is able to bring one or two titles to the Staples Center, perhaps he’ll finish his career as one of the best Lakers in history.