Because of its global appeal and numerous victories, the NBA is frequently associated with the Los Angeles Lakers, one of its most representative franchises. Furthermore, some of the league's most important players have donned the famous yellow-violet jersey on numerous occasions, writing history in the past, present, and, most likely, future.
But first, let's see who has made the Los Angeles Lakers' top 10 all-time scorers list throughout his career.
10. Jamaal Wilkes: 10,601 points
Jamaal Wilkes, nicknamed "Silk" by his teammates, was a member of the Los Angeles Lakers for eight seasons, scoring 10,601 points. He was the eleventh pick in the 1974 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors, and he showed off right away, winning Freshman of the Year and then his first NBA title in 1975.
Jamaal Wilkes joined the Los Angeles Lakers in 1977, after three seasons in the Bay, and stayed there until 1985, winning three more rings in 1980, 1982, and 1985 before retiring the following year.
Although he was never the team's first violin, the franchise has always valued him, as evidenced by his number 52 hanging in the Staples Center among the jerseys retired by the Los Angeles Lakers. He has been described as the prototype of the perfect player, both technically and professionally, by his coaches, as was the case with John Wooden during his time at UCLA.
9. Byron Scott: 12,780 points
Byron Scott, the legendary guard of the Showtime Lakers, is the second player on the list. He was originally drafted by the San Diego Clippers, but was quickly traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Norm Nixon.
Time proved the wisdom of the Los Angeles Lakers' intuition: the franchise found in the player an excellent complement to its numerous stars, who was able to demonstrate his worth in the best possible way, with 12,780 points.
After ten years of success, Byron Scott's path diverged from the yellow- violet's, leading him to the Indiana Pacers before returning in 1996 for a final season, this time as a hen to none other than Kobe Bryant.
He returned to the Los Angeles Lakers as a manager after hanging up his boots, managing the team for two seasons from 2014 to 2016, the final year of the Black Mamba's career.
8. Gail Goodrich: 13,044 points
Those who are left-handed With 13,044 points, Gail Goodrich is the eighth highest scorer in Los Angeles Lakers history. Selected in the 1965 Draft, his ascension to the team was hampered by the presence on the roster of Jerry West, with whom he frequently shared starting guard duties.
He was traded to the Phoenix Suns in the Expansion Draft in 1968, where he finally broke out and earned his first All-Star Game selection. He returned to the Los Angeles Lakers and finally established himself in the team, winning the championship in 1972.
7. Shaquille O'Neal: 13,895 points
When it comes to the Los Angeles Lakers, it's impossible not to mention Shaquille O'Neal, one of the franchise's most recognizable players over the last two decades. The LSU product has spent eight seasons in the Los Angeles Lakers' lineup, accumulating 13,895 points, 6,090 rebounds, and 1,270 blocks.
His baskets were often decisive in winning the three consecutive titles he won from 2000 to 2002, during which he was named MVP in 2000 and MVP of the Finals three times.
Shaquille O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004, shortly after losing the 2003 NBA Finals to the Detroit Pistons, owing to his deteriorating relationship with Kobe Bryant.
Both the Los Angeles Lakers (34) and the Miami Heat (34) have retired his jersey number (32).
6. James Worthy: 16,320 points
With 16,320 points in 12 years of honorable NBA service, James Worthy, also known as Big Game James, is ranked sixth in the Los Angeles Lakers rankings.
He was known for his athletic prowess, and he used his speed and quickness to outrun defenders and score with spectacular dunks, which became his signature move.
The Los Angeles Lakers, the reigning NBA champions at the time, selected James Worthy with the first overall pick in the 1982 Draft, and he went on to win three NBA championships, one MVP award, and seven All-Star appearances with the team.
He is best known for being a member of the Showtime Lakers, which also included Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
5. Magic Johnson: 17,707 points
Magic Erving Johnson, the Lakers' fifth leading scorer, is a legend in the sport. Aside from his 17,707 points, he is well-known for his ability to often make decisive passes, which has helped him climb to fifth place in the NBA assists rankings.
His center body, combined with unrivaled explosiveness and basketball intelligence, served as a forerunner to the emergence of all-around players capable of playing and defending multiple positions. He was chosen first overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1979, and he quickly established himself as the team's pivot, leading them to a championship victory.
The victory over that title allowed him to set yet another precocious record: it is still the first and only instance in which a freshman has won the prestigious MVP award of the Finals.
However, his career was cut short in 1991 when he tested positive for HIV. After a few years away, he returned to the field on a sporadic basis to say goodbye to the basketball that the entire world was expecting him to play.
Magic Johnson also competed in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, as part of the Dream Team, which is widely considered to be the best basketball team ever assembled.
4. Elgin Baylor: 23,149 points
Elgin Baylor, known for his on-court antics, has regularly dazzled Los Angeles Lakers fans with his hoops and jump shots.
He was selected first overall in the 1958 NBA Draft and finished his career with 23,149 points, 3,650 assists, and 11,463 rebounds in 846 games.
However, there is one flaw in his otherwise flawless career: he has never been able to win an NBA championship. Despite reaching the NBA Finals eight times, Elgin Baylor was defeated in each of the editions.
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 24.176 points
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the all-time leading scorer for the Los Angeles Lakers, with 24,176 points collected over 14 seasons, five of which ended in NBA championships.
Kareem has the most MVPs in NBA history, with six, one more than Michael Jordan, who won the award at the turn of the century.
This isn't the only record held by the Los Angeles champion: he's also known for being the NBA's all-time leading scorer, with 38,387 points.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar spent six seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks before being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 1975, where he remained until 1989. Before being named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history, he was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996.
2. Jerry West: 25,192 points
Jerry West, the embodiment of the NBA logo, is the next player on the list. With 25,192 points scored in just 14 NBA seasons, the legendary athlete is in second place in the standings. Jerry West appeared in the NBA Finals eight times with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning one of them in 1972 with Wilt Chamberlain.
Mr Clutch is his nickname, and he has been named All-Star in each of his 14 seasons, owing to his averages of 27 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists. In 1980, West was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and in 1996, he was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history, alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
1. Kobe Bryant: 33,643 points
With 33,643 points scored in 20 NBA seasons while wearing the yellow-purple jersey, Kobe Bryant could only be at the top of the Lakers scorers. He was the most representative player of the Californians in the recent past, without a doubt becoming one of its brightest stars, and he died in a tragic accident last January alongside Shaquille O'Neal.
Consider how he became the first NBA player to have two different jersey numbers, 8 and 24, retired by the same team, to give you an idea of his size. Kobe Bryant has won five rings with the Lakers during his career, including two as Finals MVPs.
In addition to the team titles, scrolling through all of his palmares is a monumental task: 2008 MVP, 18-time All-Star, four of them as MVP, 11-time member of the NBA's first quintet, Slam Dunk Game champion, and second-place finisher in points scored in a single game, with 81 against the Toronto Raptors.
Kobe Bryant, on the other hand, is the Lakers' all-time leader in games played (1,346), minutes played (48,637), and free throws made (8,378). Curiosity: not everyone may be aware that Kobe Bryant would never have been able to wear the Los Angeles Lakers uniform.
In the 1996 NBA Draft, he was selected thirteenth overall by the Charlotte Hornets, who later traded him to the Los Angeles Lakers for Vlade Divac. Consider how different the NBA landscape would be if the Hornets had not made such a blunder.