Point guard has been a weakness for the Lakers throughout Bryant's career, with Nick the Quick's two-year tenure the lone exception. Van Exel is the Lakers' last All-Star point guard. His swagger and showmanship accurately portrayed the excess of the '90s, helping usher the Lakers from the '80s 'Showtime' era to its eventual mini-dynasty at the turn of the millennium. Van Exel was a high-volume scorer with questionable shot selection, but he made up his inefficiencies with a vastly underrated passing game, making those Lakers the league's most exciting team in transition.
NBAE/Getty ImagesRocky Widner
Part of what made the Kobe-Shaq Lakers so dangerous was that they spaced the floor with shooters and high-I.Q. players like Fox. Fox was a 3-and-D wing before the term was officially coined, spotting up for kickouts from O'Neal, and then easing the load on Bryant by defending the primary perimeter threat. Despite his acting chops and good looks, Fox wasn't a pretty boy -- he played gritty defense and loved to get under the opponent's skin. He passed up a ton of money to join the Lakers, and to this day remains one of Bryant's most loyal and supportive former teammates.
Getty ImagesTom Hauck
Though Rice was ending his prime when he joined the Lakers, it's no coincidence that he was probably on the best of the three-peat teams. If there was one thing he could do it was knock down 3-pointers, and he got plenty of open looks as the third option in a Kobe- and Shaq-centric offense. Rice shot 37.6 percent from deep in his two seasons in Los Angeles, bumping that figure to 40.0 percent in the playoffs. His 16.3 point-per-game average was the highest of any role player during the championship era.
NBAE/Getty ImagesAndrew D. Bernstein
Big Shot Rob saved the Lakers numerous times, most notably in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals against the Kings -- likely the team's most impressive playoff series win in the Kobe-Shaq era. Horry was the original stretch 4, capable of bending defenses with his shooting and dumping the ball to O'Neal as he flashed across the paint. He wasn't a good 3-pointer shooter (32.5 percent), but the threat of his shot made it tougher to load up on O'Neal. Horry's length and savvy made him a stout defender, which was the end of the floor he was actually more effective on.
John W. McDonough /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
Many forget, but Bryant didn't enter the league and start dominating right away. He had to earn his playing time, collecting splinters on the bench behind the budding Jones. From their Philadelphia roots, to their explosive athleticism, to their pencil mustaches, the two shared several uncanny similarities. Jones was the first All-Star wing Bryant could compete with on a regular basis, making him a key figure in Bryant's early development -- even in just two seasons. It would've been interesting to see the pair play more together, but Jones ultimately had to leave for Bryant to flourish.
NBAE/Getty ImagesAndrew D. Bernstein
No one has been through more battles with Bryant than Fisher. That's worth something. He may be the most limited player on this list in terms of talent or skill, but his heart, hustle and crunch-time heroics earn him a special place among Bryant's notable teammates. Fisher was more of a spot-up shooter than traditional floor general, which made him the ideal backcourt partner for Bryant, who preferred to have the ball in his hands and run the offense himself. His propensity to hit clutch shots, much like Horry's, rescued the Lakers several times.
Getty ImagesKirby Lee
Bynum's career ended strangely and abruptly, but that shouldn't take away from his largely positive tenure with the Lakers. Pau Gasol was the overqualified sidekick, and Lamar Odom was the jack-of-all-trades sixth man, but Bynum was the X-factor -- his length and sheer size made him nearly impossible to match up with, giving the Lakers their most physically dominant force since O'Neal departed. In his final season with the Lakers, Bynum was arguably the best center in the game. Who knows how things would've turned out had L.A. not gambled on Dwight Howard.
NBAE/Getty ImagesGlenn James
In light of his recent hospitalization, there was an outpour of appreciation of Odom's unique game, which never got its just due. Instead of focusing on what Odom could do, most focused on what he couldn't. Sure, he wasn't as aggressive as he could've been, but he could do basically anything on a basketball court -- shoot, pass, drive, pull-up, rebound, defend multiple positions. He was the original position-less player. Odom, not Bynum, usually closed games, and for good reason -- he was just so darn versatile and talented.
Like Odom, Gasol was underappreciated and overscrutinized at times, despite leading the Lakers during several key stretches of their back-to-back championships -- most notably in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals against the Celtics, which proved he was anything but 'soft.' He was the game's most skilled offensive big man during that stretch. Gasol was a gifted passer who could post up, face up, roll to the rim or pop out for a spot-up jumper. His calm and selfless demeanor was the perfect complement to Bryant's fiery rage and competitiveness.
NBAE/Getty ImagesLayne Murdoch
Shaq. The Diesel. The Big Aristotle. Whatever you want to call him, O'Neal was an unstoppable force the likes of which the league had never seen. He put up startling numbers in an era filled with competent big men, literally destroying whoever got in his way with uncanny size, strength, athleticism and touch. While his carefree attitude and inability to stay in shape rubbed Bryant the wrong way, it also meant O'Neal was always in peak form for the postseason -- and his numbers back that up. The dynamic duo obviously didn't see eye to eye often, to put it kindly, but there's no denying their legendary dominance.