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Lakers Moments: Gail Goodrich is unstoppable

April 21, 2011 |  3:30 pm

Click here to read more about Gail Goodrich.
Fly by
: Lakers guard Gail Goodrich makes a move to the basket against the Milwaukee Bucks during the 1972 season at the MECCA Arena in Milwaukee, Wis.

He's a Hall of Famer. His No. 25 jersey hangs from the rafters at Staples Center. He led the Lakers in scoring four years in a row, including a championship season considered one of the best in NBA history. He's one of the Lakers' all-time leaders in numerous categories.

All that from a guy known to his Lakers teammates as "Stumpy."

Not that the name didn’t fit. He was a 5-foot-8, 145-pound junior guard for Poly High when he caught the eye of UCLA Coach John Wooden in 1960.

By the time Goodrich was drafted by the Lakers in 1965, he had grown to 6-1, still small by NBA standards. He was overshadowed by legendary teammates Elgin Baylor and Jerry West during his first three years in the league and did not show much star potential until he was drafted by the Phoenix Suns in the 1968 expansion draft.

He rejoined the Lakers in 1970, and this time around Goodrich was ready for the spotlight. The left-handed shooter with a quick release was the top scorer (25.9 points per game) on the 1971-72 team that won 33 straight games, posted a then-record 69-13 record and claimed the franchise's first NBA title since moving to Los Angeles.

An All-Star from 1972-75, Goodrich continued to lead the Lakers in scoring the next three seasons and made a league-best 508 free throws in 1973-74.

Read more about Gail Goodrich and his nine years with the team in All Things Lakers, the L.A. Times interactive database of all things purple and gold.

Join the Lakers at L.A. Times Facebook page.

-- Chuck Schilken and Sarah Ardalani

Photo credit: NBAE / Getty Images