Best: Los Angeles Lakers — Magic Johnson
What an impossible choice. Four Lakers have a legit claim to the crown. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won five rings with Los Angeles in the back half of his career. Kobe Bryant won five, too. Both rank among the all time NBA greats, thanks in part to unparalleled longevity that helped boost their career numbers. Jerry West never matched Kareem or Kobe in rings, but he did make the Finals nine times in a 12 year period. Still, we’re tipping the scales in Magic’s favor.
The gregarious personality was the face of the Showtime Lakers en route to five championships of his own, and his numbers only don’t match up because HIV stole his 30s away from his career. Magic was a three time MVP and was one of the league’s most versatile players, averaging 11 assists a game for his career while starting at center as a rookie in the Finals. Quibble if you want, but one of those four is the pick, unless of course LeBron finds a way to usurp them all. The Lakers are an embarrassment of riches.
Worst: Los Angeles Lakers — Timofey Mozgov
The summer of 2016 was home to a billion dollars in bad contracts, but Mozgov was the first contract announced just minutes after the clock struck midnight on July 1. The Lakers just couldn’t wait to throw $64 million at the Russian NBA champion.
It felt like a bad deal instantly and got worse with time, and Mozgov was so obviously useless the Lakers had to include former number two pick and current All-Star D’Angelo Russell just to get the Brooklyn Nets to take him.
You think Russell might have been good with LeBron, or maybe a valuable trade chip for Anthony Davis?