Sport: Los Angeles Lakers All-Time Leaders In Major Categories

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Kobe Bryant is the greatest scorer in Lakers franchise history, while Elgin Baylor and Magic Johnson leads the franchise in rebounds and assists.

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The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the original franchises and are considered the pinnacle of a championship team. With 18 titles, the team has been fortunate to have players ranging from George Mikan in the early days to Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James. When one thinks of purple and gold, these players are some that come to mind.

That’s not even all of the great players in team history. Others have racked up records with the team even if they were not champions. Others were prime reasons for the team winning multiple titles. In the end, a handful of familiar names will be at the top, while one name reigns supreme among the rest. Is there a better player than Kobe Bryant who wore the Lakers uniform? We will take a look at that right now.

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These are the Los Angeles Lakers' all-time leaders in major categories.

Points - Kobe Bryant

1. Kobe Bryant - 33,643 Points

2. Jerry West - 25,192 Points

3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 24,176 Points

Bryant spent his entire career with the Lakers. Bryant’s first season in the league was the only year he did not average double-digit points. After his first three seasons, Bryant went 14 consecutive seasons of averaging at least 20 points per game. That included averaging 30.0 points per game in 2002-03. After Shaquille O’Neal left the team, Bryant averaged 35.4 points in 2005-06 and 31.6 points in 2006-07.

West spent his entire career with the Lakers too. Bryant had a few more years to his career than West, which is why he was able to score more than 8,000 points. For West, he never averaged less than 17.0 points per game. During that run, he averaged at least 30.0 points per game three times, including back-to-back seasons of at least 31.0 points in 1964-65 and 1965-66. As for Abdul-Jabbar, he eventually became the all-time leading scorer in the league with 24,000 points with the Lakers. His best season was 27.7 points per game in 1975-76.

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Rebounds - Elgin Baylor

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1. Elgin Baylor - 11,463 Rebounds

2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 10,279 Rebounds

3. Kobe Bryant - 7,047 Rebounds

From 1958 to 1971, Baylor played his entire career with the Lakers. While Baylor never won a championship with the team, he made a few runs but came up short against the Celtics and Bill Russell. While Russell is considered one of the best rebounders ever, Baylor had his run of success too. That includes a career average of 13.5 rebounds per game. Baylor once averaged 19.8 rebounds in 1960-61 and 18.6 rebounds in 1961-62. From 1958 to 1965, Baylor averaged at least 12.0 rebounds per game.

Had Abdul-Jabbar made it to Los Angeles sooner, he might have owned this record. When Abdul-Jabbar joined the team in 1975, he had his best season with 16.9 rebounds in his first season with the Lakers. He would go on a run of six seasons with at least 10.0 rebounds per game. As for Bryant, the longevity of his career helped him rise into the top three. Bryant averaged 5.2 rebounds per game for his career.

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Assists - Magic Johnson

1. Magic Johnson - 10,141 Assists

2. Kobe Bryant - 6,306 Assists

3. Jerry West - 6,238 Assists

It will take a special player to break this record. Had Johnson stayed around the league longer, he might have owned this record by 10,000 career assists. Johnson’s 11.2 assists per game for his career was mustered with nine consecutive seasons of at least 10.0 assists per game. That included six seasons of at least 12.0 per game with his career high of 13.1 per game coming in 1983-84.

It’s hard to believe that Bryant is in second place by nearly 5,000 career assists. Bryant averaged 4.7 assists per game. Bryant averaged 6.3 assists in six games before he was injured. For a full season, his best season was 6.0 assists during the 2012-13 season. West was barely beaten by Bryant. West averaged 6.7 assists per game for his career. His last three seasons in the league were his best, where he averaged 9.8, 8.8, and 6.6 assists per game to close out his career.

Steals - Kobe Bryant

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1. Kobe Bryant - 1,944 Steals

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2. Magic Johnson - 1,724 Steals

3. James Worthy - 1,041 Steals

While many remember that Bryant was an excellent scorer, he was also an All-Defensive player. Bryant made the All-Defensive First Team nine times and the All-Defensive Second Team three times. Bryant never led the league in steals but averaged 1.4 steals per game. His career high of 2.2 steals came during the 2002-03 season.

Johnson averaged 1.9 steals per game for his career. Johnson opened his career with five straight seasons of at least 2.0 steals per game. That included 3.4 steals per game during the 1980-81 season in 37 contests. His best for a full season was 2.7 during the following year. His longtime teammate in James Worthy averaged 1.1 steals per game but managed to get to 1,000 career steals. His career high of 1.4 steals came during the 1991-92 season.

Blocks - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 2,694 Blocks

2. Shaquille O’Neal - 1,278 Blocks

3. Elden Campbell - 1,022 Blocks

Some records were never meant to be broken. This seems to be one of those records. Abdul-Jabbar missed four seasons of blocks being kept as a state for his career. Luckily, that was not when he was a member of the Lakers. His first season with the team saw him average 4.1 blocks per game in 82 contests. He followed that with four more seasons of at least 3.0 blocks per game.

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With the Lakers, O’Neal made the All-Defensive Team three times, all Second-Team nods. During his time, he averaged 2.8 blocks or more three times with his career high of 3.0 blocks during his MVP season in 1999-00. O’Neal averaged at least 2.0 blocks with the Lakers seven times. As for Campbell, he averaged at least 2.0 blocks per game two times with his career high of 2.6 coming in the 1995-96 season.

Turnovers - Kobe Bryant

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1. Kobe Bryant - 4,010 Turnovers

2. Magic Johnson - 3,506 Turnovers

3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 2,527 Turnovers

Bryant averaged 3.0 turnovers for his career. That included 5.7 turnovers during the 2013-14 season. Bryant never led the league in turnovers though. His career high of 288 turnovers was higher than the 5.7 turnovers he averaged. If Johnson stuck around the four seasons he missed due to early retirement, he might have held on to this record.

Fortunately for Johnson, he does not own this particular record. Johnson did lead the league in turnovers one time. That was his last final season in the league when he committed 314 turnovers in 1990-91. Johnson turned the ball over 300 times or more seven times. As for Abdul-Jabbar, he might have had more turnovers in his career if the state was taken. There were two seasons with turnovers not documented as the stat was not counted until 1977-78.

3-Point Field Goals - Kobe Bryant

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1. Kobe Bryant - 5,546 3-Point Field Goals

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2. Derek Fisher - 2,255 3-Point Field Goals

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3. Nick Van Exel - 2,062 3-Point Field Goals

A true three-point shooter has never donned the purple and gold. No offense to Bryant, but he was a career 32.9% shooter from behind the arc. His best season of three-pointers was 180 during the 2005-06 season. Bryant made at least 100 three-pointers in a season eight times. It was not his best skill when it came to his overall game.

The drop-off after Bryant was significant. Fisher ranks second with three seasons of at least 100 made three-point field goals. His best season was 144 made three-pointers during the 2001-02 season. Had Van Excel stayed with the Lakers a little bit longer, he might have ranked second. In his five seasons, Van Excel made at least 100 three-pointers each time with his career high of 183 made three-point field goals in 1994-95.

Field Goals - Kobe Bryant

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1. Kobe Bryant - 11,719 Field Goals

2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 9,935 Field Goals

3. Jerry West - 9,016 Field Goals

Putting the ball in the basket was his best attribute. Bryant led the league in two-point field goals three times in his career That included 744 during the 2002-03 season, as well as 798 in 2005-06 and 676 in 2006-07. Bryant led the league in field goal attempts both of those times. Bryant led the league in overall field goals in each of those three seasons. Bryant’s best season was making 978 in 2005-06. Bryant made at least 800 field goals four times.

The all-time leading scorer knew how to score. While he was not on the level of his Milwaukee days, Abdul-Jabbar led the league in made field goals once with the Lakers. During the 1986-87 season, he made 888 field goals. With the Lakers, Abdul-Jabbar made at least 800 field goals four times and 700 field goals 10 times. West made at least 800 field goals three times with his career of 831 during the 1969-70 season.

Free Throws - Kobe Bryant

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1. Kobe Bryant - 8,378 Free Throws

2. Jerry West - 7,160 Free Throws

3. Elgin Baylor - 5,763 Free Throws

Bryant was an efficient free throw shooter as he averaged 83.7% for his career. Bryant led the league in made free throws in 2005-06 and 2006-07. He made 696 and 667 free throws in those respective seasons. Bryant made at least 600 free throws four times and at least 500 free throws in a season six times.

West had a career 81.4% shooter at the line. West led the league in making free throws two times. He made 840 during the 1965-66 season and 647 free throws during the 1969-70 season. West made at least 600 for a season five times. Baylor made his way to the line plenty of times and was 78.0% from the line. Baylor made at least 500 free throws four times with his career high of 676 during the 1960-61 season.

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