Lakers Legend Picks All-Time Top 5 – Excludes Magic Johnson But Picks LeBron James and Kobe Bryant

Published 07/07/2021, 2:17 AM EDT


The NBA has seen it all, from epic comebacks to disastrous flame-outs. The league, in over 75 seasons, has played host to inspirational success stories of sheer commitment, will, and passion for the game of basketball. The NBA has been a source of entertainment for generations with historic rivalries like the Lakers vs the Celtics. It has also provided talented athletes a chance to express themselves on the hardwood.

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Every single player who has made it to the league has always dreamed of conquering GOAT mountain. In fact, the Greatest of All Time tag has seen players play through sweat and hurt in leaving a legacy. While the GOAT debate will never cease to exist, LeBron James’ 4th championship with the L.A. Lakers ought to affect the dynamics of the discussion.

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Many believe Michael Jeffrey Jordan is the greatest player to ever grace the floor because 10-scoring titles, 5MVPs, 6 titles, and 6 F-MVPs are surely hard to compete with!

But as his Airness himself once pointed out, anointing a single player as the GOAT does a disservice to other greats like Magic Johnson, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James whose achievements are no small feat!

Often, intangibles like the levels of competition, the dynamics of the game, eras, and the supporting cast fall to the way-side when making the case. Yes, championships are a key factor. But if they were the sole factor, Bill Russell with 11 titles would be the undisputed ultimate champion!

Lakers Mychal Thompson on his top 5

Lakers legend Mychal Thompson who was part of the famous ‘Showtime Lakers’ era in the 80s recently opened up his Top 5 all-time. The former laker made some hard choices, as he selected his 5 greatest entities to play the sport.

Picking players in a top 5 all-time involves choices, where elimination is the name of the game. While Thompson included MJ, Kobe, LeBron, Wilt, and former teammate Kareem Abdul Jabbar, he seemed to leave arguably the greatest point guard of all time in Magic Johnson off!

  1. Jordan was a 5-time MVP, 6-time champion, with 6 Finals-MVPs, and 10 All NBA First team selections, and 1 DPOY.
  2. Bryant was a 1-time MVP, 5-time champion, with 2 Finals-MVPs, and 11 All NBA First team selections.
  3. Kareem was a 6-time MVP (most ever), a 6-time champion with 2 Finals-MVPs, and 10 All NBA First team selections.
  4. Wilt Chamberlain was a 4-time MVP,2-time champion, with 1 Finals-MVP with 7 All NBA First team selections.
  5. LeBron, currently with 4-MVPs, 4-championships and 4-Finals MVPs, and 13 All NBA First team selections, is the only active player on this list who can add to his resume.

Will LBJ’s tenure with L.A. see him add to his resume? Laker nation certainly would hope so! Thompson reasoned his picks, by talking about their ability to elevate others around them while dominating themselves.

While Jordan or Kobe’s style was rather assertive to put a stamp on the game, LeBron has always excelled as one who can facilitate while also scoring when required. In fact, the mentioned names are also part of the Top 7 all-time scorers in league history.

Just missed the cut

And while the debate over whether Mychal Thompson made the right call will never cease to exist, here is a list of players who may have just missed the cut!

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  1. Magic Johnson, a 3-time MVP, and 5-time champion, and 3-time Finals-MVP.
  2. Larry Bird, a 3-time MVP, 3-time champion, and 2-time Finals-MVP.
  3. Tim Duncan, a 2-time MVP, 5-time champion, and 3-time Finals-MVP.
  4. Shaquille O’ Neal, arguably the most dominant center force ever to play the sport, a 1-time MVP, 4-time champion, and 3-time Finals-MVP.
LOS ANGELES, CA Spring, 1991 –– Los Angeles Lakers Magic Johnson, right, is guarded by Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls in the 1991 NBA Finals in Los Angeles. (Photo by Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

With the players in the game today, including Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, it is hard to set any top 5 in stone. But one thing is for certain. If being judged in terms of their transcendent impact on the game of basketball, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James form the Mt. Rushmore of basketball greats to ever step on the hardwood!

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Watch this story – Michael Jordan vs LeBron James Who Is The GOAT In Slamming Dunks

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Nikhil Naik

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