#21 Michael Cooper

1978 - 1990

Michael Cooper Images

Cooper played his entire career in Los Angeles, spending 12 seasons donning the purple and gold. Though Cooper never took on a full-time starting job, he spent much of his career as one of the better sixth men in the league. The 6-foot-5 forward was known for his knee-high socks and defense, and took pride in guarding the opposing team’s best player. Cooper is remembered for some legendary battles with Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird, who later said he was one of the toughest defenders he faced. The Pasadena native seldom missed any games during his career, playing in more than 80 contests in nine of his 12 seasons.


  • Five-time NBA champion (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987-1988)
  • NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1986-87)
  • Five-time NBA All-Defensive First Team (1982, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988)
  • Three-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1981,1983, 1986)
  • Ranks fifth all-time in Lakers history in assists (3,666) and steals (1,033)