The 10 greatest L.A. Lakers of all time -- No. 3: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Continuing our countdown of the 10 greatest L.A. Lakers of all time, as chosen by our readers.
No. 3: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (520 first-place votes, 53,596 points)
In 1975, the Lakers acquired Abdul-Jabbar from the Milwaukee Bucks for center Elmore Smith, guard Brian Winters and rookies Dave Meyers and Junior Bridgeman. Abdul-Jabbar won the MVP (his fourth overall) in his first season with the team.
But the true magic happened for Abdul-Jabbar with the Lakers after Earvin "Magic" Johnson joined the team in 1979. The Lakers went on to become the most dominant team of the 1980s, appearing in the finals eight times and winning five titles. Abdul-Jabbar was the 1985 Finals MVP, and on April 5, 1984, broke Wilt Chamberlain's record for career points.
On the Lakers' all-time list, Abdul-Jabbar is first in games played (1,093), fourth in field-goal percentage (56.7%), second in rebounds (10,279), sixth in assists (3,652), sixth in steals (983), first in blocked shots (2,694), third in points (24,176) and sixth in points per game (22.1).
-- Houston Mitchell
No. 10: Jerry Buss
No. 9: Shaquille O'Neal
No. 8: Wilt Chamberlain
No. 7: Chick Hearn
No. 6: James Worthy
No. 5: Elgin Baylor
No. 4: Kobe Bryant
Photo: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1989. Credit: Associated Press