Not many teams in sports history have been home to as many stars as the Lakers. Since the dawn of the NBA, the Purple and Gold have been a premier franchise, defined by winning, greatness, and the many electric personalities that have donned the famous jersey.
So when fans were asked to cut one of six Lakers (current and former) from the All-Time starting five, one might expect it to be a hard choice.
In reality, the choice was apparently pretty clear for the hundreds who voted in one NBA Instagram poll. With 28% of the vote, Wilt Chamberlain got the ax from this hypothetical Lakers team, with LeBron coming in second at 23% of the vote. Kobe Bryant was last (and the most secure) with just 5% of fans voting to give him the boot.
Wilt Chamberlain played during the 60s and 70s, which is an era that has become widely underappreciated by the NBA community today. As a Laker, he averaged 17.7 points and 19.2 rebounds per game on 60% shooting. He also won one title with the franchise in 1972. Those are pretty solid numbers for the 13x All-Star, but he is mostly remembered for his time with the Warriors when he was in his prime and averaged over 41 points per game.
Compare that to guys like Kobe, Magic, Kareem, and Shaq (who are known as Lakers first and virtual locks for the lineup), and it's easy to see why fans voted to kick him off L.A.'s All-Time starting five.
Regarding LeBron James, he's the only active player on this list, so fans have a special attachment to the guy. While he has only spent four seasons as a Laker so far, he is credited for saving this modern-day version of the team as his arrival allowed the city to bring home the title in 2020.
But what do you think? Is LeBron's tenure in L.A. so far enough to put him in the same breath as other Laker greats? How about Wilt? Should he be considered one of the five greatest Lakers ever?
No matter your answer, all of the players mentioned deserve credit and praise for what they were able to accomplish, and the Lakers deserve credit for luring in so many high-profile players.