The real king of LA

There can be no more debate about the best Laker of all time; it is Kareem

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The real king of LA

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The Lakers are among the best features of Los Angeles. Throughout the years, they have had phenomenal teams and are considered by some to be one of the two greatest franchises of all time. There has been much debate as to who is the best Laker player ever. To answer that question requires more than just evaluating the best Laker player at his athletic peak. Rather, I will look at the whole career of any player who wore a Lakers uniform.

The best career did not come from Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain or even LeBron James. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the best player to ever play for the Lakers. Kareem is a six-time NBA champion, two-time NBA MVP, six-time MVP, 19-time all-star, has the most NBA points of all time and had the “unstoppable” shot: the skyhook.

The unstoppable shot: The Skyhook

It is true that there are other players that are worthy of this esteemed title. LeBron is considered the best player of all time, Kobe was on the Lakers his whole career, Wilt had a 100-point game, Shaq was so physically dominating and Magic may be the best point guard of all time. While those are valid points, Kareem is still more deserving over all of these players.

Kareem had a longer career than the rest, so he could tally up more. Currently, Kareem has more championships, all-star appearances and MVPs than the others. If LeBron is able to catch up to Kareem, he may end up being the “Best Laker Ever,” but he is not right now. Kareem has more career points, blocks, and rebounds in his career than Kobe. Kobe had a great career, but Kareem had a better one. Shaq was more powerful than Kareem, but Kareem took care of his body more and did not cause drama with his teammates in the Laker organization. Even though Wilt Chamberlain had historic games in his career, including that 100-point game, Kareem still racked up more points in his career. In fact, he beat Wilt by 6,968 points. Magic Johnson seemed better than Kareem when they were playing side-by-side. Actually, Magic would probably be the “Best Laker Ever” if his career did not end so early because of his diagnosis of AIDS. That is why Kareem beat out Magic for this award.

Clearly, Kareem rose above all of his possible competitors as “Best Laker Ever” because of his statistics. Still, there is more to basketball than that. Kareem had the skyhook which made him unstoppable on the court. There was nobody in the league who could block that shot. That puts him in a league by himself.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also had a tougher road to championships than most players. He had to face teams that had players like Wes Unseld, Earl Monroe, Julius Erving, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Isaiah Thomas and Dennis Rodman. Kareem played against some of the finest players the NBA had ever seen and won against them all.

Look at Kareem! He’s so intense!

No other basketball player had a more outstanding career than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson and Wilt Chamberlain. Kareem may not always get the credit he deserves as a legend, but the numbers speak for themselves.

Although 30 years have passed since this Hall of Famer retired in 1989, he continues to be an all-time leader. When a player can sustain his records for that amount of time, no one can argue that he has not earned this distinction.

Many people nowadays overlook Kareem’s greatness because he played with some great players. However, that should not factor into how good of a basketball player he was. When greatness is defined by the longevity of a career and one’s stats, he is the undeniable winner. That is why Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the “Best Laker Ever.”

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