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NBA 73 43 Top 5 Lakers of all time 31279623 Lakers legends Lakers+legends NBA

Few professional sports teams have boasted as many great players as the Los Angeles Lakers. With 24 Hall of Famers in franchise history, it's hard to pick the best of the best. Or maybe it's not. Try to argue with our top five.

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NBA 73 43 Top 5 Lakers of all time 10844986 Magic Johnson Magic+Johnson NBA

No one personified a franchise and a style of basketball like Earvin "Magic" Johnson, the smiling leader of the Showtime Lakers. A five-time champion, three-time MVP and three-time Finals MVP, he was the best player on a great team for a decade. He would have accomplished much more had his career not been cut short by HIV, but it's unlikely he could have endeared himself to Lakers fans any more than he did.

MORE: Top 10 players in NBA history

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NBA 73 43 Top 5 Lakers of all time 10844943 Kobe Bryant Kobe+Bryant NBA

With five championships, two scoring titles, two Finals MVPs and one MVP award, Kobe's already achieved a lot as a Laker. At 34, he's not quite done, but it'll be hard to reach No. 1 on this list. Because the top guy is right up there with Michael Jordan and Bill Russell among the greatest basketball players ever to live.

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NBA 73 43 Top 5 Lakers of all time 10844987 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Kareem+Abdul-Jabbar NBA

The leading scorer in NBA history, Kareem spent some of his most prolific seasons in Milwaukee before coming to L.A. at the age of 28. Still, he had a full career as a Laker, winning three MVP awards and five titles. His sky hook remained devastating into his 40s, and his rebounds initiated the running game perfected by Magic, Worthy and the rest of the Showtime gang.

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NBA 73 43 Top 5 Lakers of all time 10844944 Jerry West Jerry+West NBA

West scored all of his 25,192 points as a Laker and was as pure a shooter as the game has ever seen. He led L.A. to nine Finals, though the Celtics stood in the way of West winning more than one championship. Still, he gets extra credit for building the Lakers' dynasty in the '80s as general manager as well as trading for Kobe Bryant and signing Shaq.

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NBA 73 43 Top 5 Lakers of all time 10844988 Shaquille O'Neal Shaquille+O%27Neal NBA

Though he scored far fewer points than Elgin Baylor while wearing a Lakers jersey, Shaq gets the nod at No. 5 because he dominated in the playoffs like no one else. He earned three Finals MVPs by averaging a ridiculous 35.9 points and 15.2 rebounds against the Pacers, Sixers and Nets. If only there had been less drama surrounding Shaq's last few years in L.A., he might have been higher on this list. But that was also part of the package that made Shaq a larger-than-life figure in Tinseltown.

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