When your franchise has 17 NBA titles, it’s easy to lose sight of all the legendary players who have worn your jersey.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Wilt Chamberlain. Magic Johnson. Shaquille O’Neal. Kobe Bryant. Hell, even the logo itself, Jerry West, wore the Los Angeles Lakers in purple and gold.
In total, the Lakers have 34 Hall of Famers among players, coaches and collaborators. Naturally, those who won an NBA championship, or several, with the franchise are the ones that fans remember the most.
Here are three NBA legends who may have forgotten to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.
3. Karl Malone
For almost two decades, Karl Malone other John stockton they were synonymous with the Utah Jazz. In many ways, they still are (sorry, Spida). While they never won a title, they came very close twice in the late 1990s, losing in the NBA Finals to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
When Stockton retired in 2003, Malone made one last effort to win a title, joining Shaq and Kobe in their quest for a fourth Larry O’Brien trophy.
Malone played 42 games for the Lakers in 2003-04, averaging 13.2 points per game, his career low. The Lakers made it to the Finals, but it didn’t work out for “The Mailman,” who retired as one of the NBA’s best players to never win it all.
Malone, a two-time MVP and 14-time All-Star, remains second on the league’s scoring list with 36,928 points. Only 554 of those were scored during his only season in Los Angeles, but Karl Malone is on the list of NBA legends who played for the Lakers nonetheless.