The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most decorated teams in the NBA, and plenty of legendary players have once donned the famous Purple and Gold. Without these players, they wouldn’t have won the 16 championships they have in their trophy case. These include a slew of guys pegged as a Lakers point guard, which is why we’re going to take a look at the best point guards in Lakers history.
There are plenty of fantastic players for the Lakers through the years, but this piece will focus on the floor generals. The facilitators who ran the show and made sure that the Purple and Gold would be playing like the juggernauts that they were.
Diehard Lakers fans will definitely recognize the names that will be brought up in this list. After all, these players had the tough yet rewarding job of leading the LA franchise to win games and rings through their playmaking and leadership.
Derek Fisher (1996-2004; 2007-2012)
Derek Fisher is not the most eye-catching player among the plethora of point guards that donned the Purple and Gold. Through 13 seasons with the Lakers, he only averaged 7.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 2.9 assists a game. Stats-wise, he’s not the best point guard to ever lace them up for the franchise.
However, there are plenty of other things that he did incredibly well for Los Angeles’ favorite NBA team. He was a perfect fit for Phil Jackson’s triangle offense. He didn’t need the ball often and could space the floor with his improved marksmanship through the years.
Fisher also made big shots when it mattered most. Many can still remember the incredible game-winner he scored over an outstretched Manu Ginobili in 2004.
He was there when Kobe Bryant won his five NBA championships, so to not name Fisher as one of the best PGs the Lakers ever saw is a disservice to what Fisher brought to the team.
Jerry West (1960-1974)
Any list that talks about the greatest Lakers point guards but doesn’t include Jerry West into the conversation is an utter waste of time and effort. To not include The Logo in such a talk is outright blasphemous.
West is one of the most prolific Lakers the league ever saw, and he is one of the first superstars Los Angeles basketball fans fell in love with. He averaged 27.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 6.7 assists in his 14-year career with the Purple and Gold. He won the NBA title in 1972 and made the distinct achievement of being named the Finals MVP in spite of the Lakers losing to the Boston Celtics in an epic 1969 NBA Finals.
West is one of the biggest superstars in the ’60s and early ’70s, and he spent his entire career with the Lakers. It’s hard to imagine LA not winning all of those championships without him.
Magic Johnson (1980-1991; 1995-1996)
Magic Johnson is the first name most fans think about when you ask them about the ideal point guard to lead the team. Magic has everything you could ever ask for out of a star guard.
He has the height of a forward at 6-foot-9. However, his speed, dribbling, and playmaking ability were way ahead of his time. You can easily imagine Magic thriving in today’s NBA with his high-speed and flashy play style. He averaged 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 11.2 assists in his Hall of Fams career.
His outstanding play and equally infectious personality were at the center of the Showtime Lakers of the ’80s. They won five championships under his leadership and were the consummate representatives of the West during the decade. He was instrumental in turning the image of the NBA into a family-friendly league alongside Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird.
He’s arguably the greatest point guard to lace them up, and he’s undoubtedly the best floor general the Lakers have ever seen.