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Saturday, November 13, 2010
The All (Current) Roster Numbers Team

By Brian Kamenetzky

One fun part about sports, and having a dedicated space like this one, is the ability to follow through on somewhat random, totally insignificant thoughts/bits of trivia on any given night, just 'cause.

I always have fun looking through the Lakers uniform number register at Basketball Reference, if only for some of the random names you'll find and to once again confirm D.J. Mbenga is unquestionably the best Laker to ever wear 28. Tonight, I wondered what the best team the Lakers could assemble using only the numbers of guys currently on the roster.

Or, if you prefer, "The All 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 24, 45, 50 Team."

2

Kenny Carr     1978-1979
Rory Sparrow     1992-1992
Anthony Miller     1995-1996
Derek Fisher     1997-2011
Aaron McKie     2006-2007

This one's easy. No disrespect to Pig Miller, but Fish has this one wrapped up. Though without McKie, the Lakers may never get Pau Gasol, a far more significant contribution than the 29 points he scored in purple and gold.

3

Elmore Smith     1974-1975
Jeff Lamp     1988-1989
Jay Vincent     1990-1990
Sedale Threatt     1992-1996
Devean George     2000-2006
Shammond Williams     2007-2007
Trevor Ariza     2008-2009
Devin Ebanks     2011-2011

Not the strongest number in LAL history. George won some hardware, but barely played in those playoff runs. Threatt was actually a pretty productive player, but during a particularly unproductive time for the franchise. That leaves Ariza, who went to a Finals, won a ring, and might still be here if not for some lousy work from his agent.

4

Joe Hutton     1952-1952
Adrian Dantley     1978-1979
Byron Scott     1984-1997
Frankie King     1996-1996
Ron Harper     2000-2001
Luke Walton     2004-2011

John Soohoo/Getty Images
Byron Scott: Great shooter, key cog in the Showtime dynasty, best #4 in team history.



Only one of these guys has a faction of fans who want his number retired at Staples. And it isn't Frankie King. Easy call for B. Scott.

5

Dick Barnett     1963-1965
Jim McMillian     1971-1973
Tom Abernethy     1977-1978
Jim Price     1979-1979
Eddie Jordan     1982-1982
Duane Cooper     1993-1993
Robert Horry     1997-2003
Ime Udoka     2004-2004
Tierre Brown     2005-2005
Jordan Farmar     2007-2009
Steve Blake     2011-2011

Horry. Or if you prefer, Horry.

7

Marty Byrnes     1980-1980
Kenny Carr     1980-1980
Demetrius Calip     1992-1992
Trevor Wilson     1994-1994
Lester Conner     1995-1995
Derek Strong     1996-1996
Sam Jacobson     1999-2000
Isaiah Rider     2001-2001
Brian Cook     2004-2004
Lamar Odom     2005-2011

Odom in a walk, if only because he rescued #7- at one point merely nondescript- from a serious downward spiral. Jacobson? One of The Logo's worst draft picks. Rider? Yikes. Cook? He'd go on to do a little damage to 43 before being shipped off to Orlando in the Ariza deal. In addition to winning a pair of rings, Odom has provided some much-needed juice to what's supposed to be a lucky number.

9

Jim Chones     1980-1981
Nick Van Exel     1994-1998
Bryon Russell     2004-2004
Chucky Atkins     2005-2005
Laron Profit     2006-2006
Sun Yue     2009-2009
Matt Barnes     2011-2011

Barnes has a chance to make an impact, but he'll have some work to do catching Nick the Quick, who is, statistically speaking at least, among the more productive PG's the Lakers have had. Playing only five seasons in L.A., Van Exel is 10th on the franchise list for assists, 24th in points.

12

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images
Vlade Divac is easily the strongest in a large but fairly random batch of 12's.



Don Smith     1949-1949
Gene Stump     1950-1950
Ed Beach     1951-1951
Howie Schultz     1952-1952
Jim Holstein     1953-1955
Boo Ellis     1959-1959
Gene Wiley     1963-1966
Freddie Crawford     1968-1969
Pat Riley     1971-1976
Don Chaney     1977-1978
Ronnie Lester     1985-1986
Vlade Divac     1990-2005
Jerome Kersey     1997-1997
Derek Harper     1999-1999
Mike Penberthy     2001-2002
Jannero Pargo     2003-2004
Shannon Brown     2009-2011

Vlade in a walk, but apparently 12 was a good one for guys who want to get hired by the organization one day (Riley, Lester). Or, failing that, the Clippers (Chaney). And who among us doesn't have a soft spot for Penberthy, easily the best player Masters College has ever sent to L.A.? Who thrived until opposing teams decided to guard the dude who looked like he'd just stepped out of the crowd?

15

Don Carlson     1949-1950
Kevin O'Shea     1951-1951
Joe Hutton     1952-1952
Howie Schultz     1953-1953
Dick Schnittker     1954-1958
Mel Gibson     1964-1964
Bob Boozer     1966-1966
Hank Finkel     1967-1967
Willie McCarter     1970-1971
Jim Price     1973-1975
Ron Williams     1976-1976
John Roche     1976-1976
Ernie DiGregorio     1978-1978
Ron Carter     1979-1979
Butch Lee     1980-1980
Eddie Jordan     1981-1984
Tony Bobbitt     2005-2005
Ron Artest     2011-2011

Here's a fairly random collection of players. Schnittker was a pretty good player back in the old-timey days, and his name makes me giggle. Gibson did outstanding work in Braveheart, but has since gone off the deep end. Price had one productive season in Los Angeles before heading to Milwaukee. Artest is the best player on the list, but he's been a 15 for nine games. Not enough to unseat Schnittker.

16

Johnny Jorgensen     1949-1949
Bob Harrison     1950-1954
Dick Garmaker     1956-1960
Nick Mantis     1960-1960
John Salley     2000-2000
Pau Gasol     2008-2011

Gasol is the best PF in team history, and a future HOF'er. He'd "win" a lot of numbers, let alone one thin as this.

17

Jim Pollard     1949-1955
Ron Sobie     1960-1960
Rick Fox     1998-2004
Andrew Bynum     2006-2010

This deep into his career, I'm sure a lot of people hoped it would be Bynum. Fox was a key cog in three title teams, but Pollard is in the Hall of Fame. Hard to beat that.

18

Arnie Ferrin     1949-1951
Ray Ellefson     1949-1949
Pep Saul     1952-1954
Don Sunderlage     1955-1955
Bob Carney     1955-1955
Chuck Mencel     1956-1957
Kurt Rambis     1994-1995
Sasha Vujacic     2005-2011

NBA Photos/NBAE/Getty Images
Hall of Fame status makes Jim Pollard the dean of 17's.



He probably won't be around too much longer, but at least Sasha can move to his next team knowing he was the best to ever wear 18. (Rambis wore 31 for the productive part of his time with the Lakers, donning 18 for his final two seasons after returning to Los Angeles, when he played only 76 games combined and averaged about 2.7 points and around the same number of boards.)

24

Dick Schnittker     1954-1954
Walter Dukes     1957-1957
Bobby Smith     1960-1960
Gary Alcorn     1961-1961
Ron Horn     1963-1963
John Wetzel     1968-1968
Keith Erickson     1969-1973
Kermit Washington     1974-1978
Ron Boone     1979-1980
Butch Carter     1981-1981
Adrian Branch     1987-1987
Steve Bucknall     1990-1990
Lloyd Daniels     1995-1995
Fred Roberts     1996-1996
George McCloud     1997-1997
Shea Seals     1998-1998
Jim Jackson     2006-2006
Kobe Bryant     2007-2011

Take every other player on the list, combine their numbers, then multiply by five, and Kobe still wins.

45

A.C. Green     1986-2000
Sean Rooks     1997-1999
Derrick Caracter     2011-2011

Green. Best career, best hair, too.

50

Ed Fleming     1958-1960
Bob Burrow     1958-1958
Steve Mix     1983-1983
Theo Ratliff     2011-2011

Fleming gets the nod on tenure. But if Ratliff wins a ring, he'll OWN 50.