ESPN’s Hollinger ranked the top franchises and guess who locked up #1? Sorry Beantown, this is Hollywood.
ESPN: Magic. Kareem. The Logo. Kobe. Shaq. When it comes to superstars, the Lakers are so far out in front of everybody else it’s not even funny — their all-time starting five would crush any other team’s; in fact, it might be better than that of the rest of the league’s put together. So star-studded is their legacy that I left Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor and George Mikan off my five-man team that opened this paragraph, also neglecting the likes of James Worthy, Bob McAdoo and Gail Goodrich.
And those big names won, too. Although the Celtics have more championships, the Lakers have more of everything else — wins, playoff wins, playoff series wins and conference titles. About the only thing that hurts L.A. in the all-time rankings is the penalty for relocating from Minnesota to Los Angeles in the 1950s.
The story begins with the Mikan years up north, where he led Minneapolis to five championships in six seasons in the formative years of the NBA. As the league’s first dominant big man, he established something of a tradition.
Since then, the Lakers have almost always had at least one monstrous big man — Mikan, Wilt, Kareem, Shaq, Pau Gasol — and one electrifying perimeter star to go with him (Magic, Jerry West, Baylor, Kobe).