Discussion

One-on-One: L.A.'s greatest

Chris Broussard and Ric Bucher debate the greatest Laker of all time

Originally Published: January 28, 2010
By Chris Broussard and Ric Bucher | ESPN The Magazine

The only thing Ric Bucher and Chris Broussard like to do more than report on the NBA is argue about the NBA. So we decided to combine those two skills with our weekly One-on-One series, in which they'll debate the hottest topics in the Association.

QUESTION: Who is the greatest Laker of all time?

BUCHER: If we're talking greatest Laker -- as in the person with the most impact on the franchise, rather than merely its greatest player -- I don't see how it can be anyone other than Jerry West. He's among the top five all-time Lakers players. He was the architect that brought in most, if not all, of the other top four players. No one was a bigger Magic Johnson fan than me back in the day, and I've always felt Kobe Bryant hasn't received his full due, but how does either of them hold a purple-and-gold candle to The Logo?

BROUSSARD: With all due respect to The Logo, your revisionist history must be exposed. I assume you consider Kareem Abdul-Jabbar a top-five Laker. Well, when Jabbar joined the Lakers in 1975, West was not working for the franchise. West became the Lakers' coach a year later, in 1976. And he didn't bring in Magic Johnson, either, who (as I'll explain later) is truly the greatest Laker of all time.

MORE NBA HEADLINES