Lakers All-Stars
(Erica Martin/Los Angeles Lakers)

Lakers All-Star Legacy

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter
For a franchise as lush with history as the Lakers, it’s no shock that the NBA All-Star Game has often been colored purple and gold.

When LeBron James makes his L.A. debut in Charlotte, he will become the 31st all-star in Lakers history — a collection of players who have combined for 137 selections.

Here are the 31 who have been selected to compete among the league’s elite.

LeBron James (2019)
It may be James’ first all-star appearance as a Laker, but the living legend has already cemented his spot in the event’s history. James — who collected the most votes of any player in 2019 — has been chosen for 15 All-Star Games and three MVPs, including in Los Angeles during his last season before joining the Lakers.

James — who chose his own teammates as captain of “Team LeBron” — enters the 2019 All-Star Game as the game’s all-time leader in total scoring and points per game.

Kobe Bryant (1998; 2000-16)
Arguably the most decorated player in all-star history, Bryant was named MVP four times — tying Bob Pettit for most ever. He is also second on the all-time all-star scoring list, and his 18 selections trail only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Bryant — who made his all-star debut as a 19-year-old rookie — won his MVPs in his most meaningful games. He dropped 31 in his hometown Philadelphia in 2002; added 31 in Las Vegas in 2007; scored 27 to share the honor with former teammate Shaquille O’Neal in 2009; and went off for 37 and 14 rebounds in Los Angeles in 2011.

Dwight Howard (2013)
Howard’s lone season with the Lakers including a starting spot in the All-Star Game alongside Kobe Bryant.

While an injury to Bryant led to an early postseason exit for the Lakers that year, Howard did provide a frequent presence on the boards, leading the entire league in rebounds.

Andrew Bynum (2012)
From the youngest player in NBA history to an all-star, it was a seven-year journey for Bynum to reach this honor. He undoubtedly deserved it that season, averaging a double-double with 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds.

Bynum only played six minutes in the All-Star Game, but he was huge for the Lakers’ season, ranking third in the NBA in rebounds and sixth in blocks.

Pau Gasol (2009-11)
The Kobe-Pau combination is one that will forever live in Lakers history, and all-star was no exception for that. Gasol was right alongside Bryant for three of his All-Star MVPs and provided a clutch moment in one of them.

With the West up by only two with a minute left in the 2011 game, Bryant missed a long jumper, but Gasol was there to put it back in, icing the victory in Los Angeles.

Shaquille O’Neal (1997-98; 2000-04)
O’Neal was selected for the All-Star Game in seven of his eight seasons as a Laker, with the lone exception being the cancelled 1999 game (due to a lockout).

As part of his legendary 2000 season, O’Neal scored 20 points to capture All-Star MVP, which he would later add to MVP trophies for the regular season and NBA Finals. And he got another All-Star MVP in 2004, putting together 24 points and 11 rebounds on his home floor at STAPLES Center.

Nick Van Exel (1998)
Van Exel’s lone all-star selection was part of an L.A. takeover at Madison Square Garden, as four Lakers — “Nick the Quick,” Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Eddie Jones — were chosen for the game.

One of the most entertaining players of his era, Van Exel didn’t waste his time on star, scoring 13 points for the West.

Eddie Jones (1997-98)
Named MVP of the Rookie Game in 1995, Jones would soon return to All-Star Weekend as part of the main event. He earned two trips with the Lakers, including in 1998 when he had a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double.

Jones also garnered Second Team All-Defensive honors in ’98, his last full season with the Lakers.

Cedric Ceballos (1995)
Unfortunately for Ceballos, he was unable to play in his lone All-Star Game after being injured during a play against Dikembe Mutombo shortly before the break. Ironically, Mutombo was the one chosen to fill Ceballos’ spot that year.

However, Ceballos — who averaged 20.9 points in his two years with the Lakers — did already have his moment in the all-star sun with Phoenix, winning the 1992 Slam Dunk Contest.

James Worthy (1986-92)
“Big Game James” was a frequent face at All-Star, earning seven consecutive selections during the Showtime era.

Worthy didn’t waste any time introducing himself on this stage, scoring 20 points in his debut and 22 the next year. The three-time champion was even better in the playoffs, winning three rings and earning 1988 Finals MVP with a 36-point triple-double in Game 7.

Magic Johnson (1980; ’82-91)
A 12-time all-star, Johnson still owns the game’s record for most career assists. He owns two All-Star MVP trophies, including from 1990 when he scored a game-high 22 points and earned the honor despite his team losing.

Magic also provided arguably the greatest moment in all-star history. He was forced to retire abruptly in 1991 after testing positive for HIV, but fans nonetheless voted him into that year’s All-Star Game.

Johnson decided to play and had a magical night, dropping 25 points and nine assists en route to MVP honors. In a moment straight from a movie, the night ended with Magic stopping Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan on back-to-back possessions, then sinking a 3-pointer over Thomas before being swarmed by congratulating teammates.

A.C. Green (1990)
One of the most reliable players in NBA history, the “Iron Man” could be counted on to compete in his only All-Star Game. Green famously played in 1,192 consecutive game — a record that will likely never be matched — and only missed three in his 16-year career.

Green also served as a bridge between eras, winning two titles with the Showtime Lakers in 1987 and 1988, then returning to help start the three-peat in 2000.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1976-77; ’79-89)
With an NBA-record 19 all-star selections (including 11 with the Lakers), Abdul-Jabbar boasts a one-of-a-kind resume that also boasts six MVP trophies and six championship rings.

Kareem was always ready to give All-Star fans a show, scoring the fourth-most points in the game’s history. And he scorched the competition in 1980, putting up 17 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and a record six blocks.

Jamaal Wilkes (1981; ’83)
Nicknamed “Silk” for his smooth playing style with a jumper dubbed “the 20-foot layup,” Wilkes earned two all-star selections with the early Showtime Lakers.

He will always be remembered for dropping 37 points to close out Philadelphia in the 1980 Finals, which surely helped earn him an all-star nod the next year, tallying 15 points and eight rebounds for the West.

Norm Nixon (1982)
The ’82 Lakers boasted two all-star point guards, as Magic Johnson and Nixon both suited up for the West. It was a strong year for Nixon, who helped the Lakers to the championship and ranked fifth in the NBA in assists.

He spent six years with the Lakers before being traded for another important piece of the Showtime era: a rookie Byron Scott.

Gail Goodrich (1972-75)
A Los Angeles native and UCLA product, Goodrich shined for his hometown Lakers, earning four of his five all-star nods with the purple and gold.

One of the greatest lefty scorers in NBA history, Goodrich peaked in 1974, when he piled up the league’s fourth-most points and earned First Team All-NBA honors. The year also included his top All-Star performance, as he scored 18 in Seattle.

Jerry West (1961-74)
“Mr. Clutch” could have easily been “Mr. All-Star,” as West earned the honor in all 14 years of his career, from rookie to retiree.

The career-long Laker was at his best in the 1972 game at the Forum. West only had 13 points on his home floor, but reminded everybody how he got his nickname by sinking a jumper from the top of the key with only one second left to capture victory and the MVP award.

Wilt Chamberlain (1969; 71-73)
One of the most dominant players to ever touch a basketball, Chamberlain was obviously a regular at the All-Star Game, making 13 appearances, including four in L.A.

Yet for a four-time MVP, seven-time scoring champion and only man in league history to score 100 points in a game, Wilt was surprisingly blasé when it came to getting his buckets at All-Star, never scoring more than eight points as a Laker.

Elgin Baylor (1959-65; ’67-70)
Often described as “Jordan before Jordan” and “Kobe before Kobe,” Baylor was one of the NBA’s first true superstars, as reflected by his 11 all-star nods in a 14-year career spent entirely with the Lakers.

Baylor frequently put on a show at the All-Star Game, including when he won co-MVP honors in 1959, dropping 24 points and 11 rebounds to share the trophy with Bob Pettit of the St. Louis Hawks.

Archie Clark (1968)
Clark took the long way to the pros, serving three years in the U.S. Army after high school. So he didn’t waste time when he finally reached the NBA, earning an all-star nod in his sophomore season.

He averaged 19.9 points for the Lakers that season, and later began a founding member of the National Basketball Retired Players Association.

Darrall Imhoff (1967)
Imhoff rebounded his way to the only all-star selection of his career, averaging 13.3 boards for the ’67 Lakers.

He provided on the glass for L.A. across four seasons before being traded alongside fellow all-star Archie Clark for Wilt Chamberlain.

Rudy LaRusso (1962-63; ’66)
A powerful rebounder from Brooklyn, “Roughhouse Rudy” muscled his way to three all-star appearances with the Lakers.

He averaged a double-double three times for L.A., and later earned two more all-star selections with the San Francisco Warriors.

Frank Selvy (1962)
After dropping 100 points in a single game for Furman University, Selvy was the Baltimore Bullets’ clear choice for first-overall draft pick in 1954. He bounced around the league a bit — and took a year off to serve in the U.S. Army — before eventually landing with the Lakers.

His lone all-star appearance for the purple and gold came in 1962, and he finished hat year eighth in the NBA in assists.

Hot Rod Hundley (1960-61)
Hundley’s two all-star appearances came in wildly different circumstances, as he was selected in the franchise’s final year in Minneapolis and first in Los Angeles.

Nicknamed “Hot Rod” for his flashy ball handling, Hundley spent six years with the Lakers, including two among the top 10 in assists, and later became a part of the team’s broadcasting teams.

Dick Garmaker (1957-60)
A Minnesota native, Garmaker fit right in with the Minneapolis Lakers, earning all-star honors four times in five seasons.

The guard started a pair of All-Star Games and also spent one season as a top-10 scorer.

Larry Foust (1958-59)
Foust’s career extended well beyond his two All-Star appearances for the Lakers, as he was selected for the game eight times.

Outside of a Minneapolis uniform, Foust was part of the 1960 Lakers team that survived an emergency plane crash in an Iowa cornfield, and hit the game-winning basket in NBA history: a 19-18 victory for Fort Wayne over the Lakers in 1950.

Clyde Lovellette (1956-57)
After helping the Lakers to a championship as a rookie in 1954, Lovellette ascended among the league’s top scorers and earned two All-Star nods

He’d be invited back to the game twice for St. Louis before joining the rival Boston Celtics and winning two more titles, including one at the Lakers’ expense.

Vern Mikkelsen (1951-53; ’55-57)
One of three Lakers to appear in the inaugural All-Star Game, Mikkelsen became a staple of the event with six appearances on his resume — the most of the Minneapolis era.

The four-time champ spent his entire career with the Lakers and brought his trademark rebounding to the All-Star Game with one double-double and four games with nine boards.

Slater Martin (1953-56)
Martin was a success right from the start, winning championships in four of his first five seasons with the Lakers. And he was recognized for his defense and playmaking with four All-Star selections in his six years in Minneapolis.

A true pass-first point guard, Martin never scored double figures in any of his All-Star appearances, which included three more with the New York Knicks and St. Louis Hawks.

Jim Pollard (1951-52; ’54-55)
An integral part of the Lakers’ original dynasty, Pollard was a member of five title teams and earned himself four trips to the All-Star Game.

He scored a game-high 23 points in the 1954 All-Star Game and was originally voted MVP as time ran out in regulation. But the game went to overtime, and Boston’s Bob Cousy took over the game (and the trophy) from there.

George Mikan (1951-54)
Frequently considered the game’s first dominant big man, Mikan was part of the NBA’s first-ever All-Star Game (alongside Mikkelsen and Pollard), and made three more throughout his career.

Mikan was also the first Laker to win All-Star MVP, hanging up 22 points and 16 rebounds in 1953. The center’s dominance extended outside of the All-Star setting, as he led the Lakers to four NBA championships, while capturing three individual scoring titles.

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