Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 12/7/12

Some of the greatest players in the history of the NBA have worn Los Angeles Lakers uniforms. With so many Hall of Famers having hoisted championship banners for L.A., it’s almost impossible to label one of them the greatest Laker of all time. Jerry West, who won an NBA title, made it to the Finals nine times and was a 14-time all star, would be in the discussion. However, West emphatically gives that title to Kobe Bryant. “What he has accomplished with this team, I don’t think there’s any question in my mind at this point in time – because of him being with this team for his whole career – that he has been the greatest Laker player,” West told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday. “I do think he’s the greatest Laker player we’ve ever seen. “He has an incredible desire to win and excel, and his work ethic and his skill level are what places him among the truly great, great players we’ve ever had in this league.” Shaquille O’Neal dominated the playoffs and earned three NBA FInals MVP awards with the Lakers. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar took home five championship rings and three league MVP awards. Magic Johnson combined all of the aforementioned accolades, winning five NBA championships, three NBA MVPs, and three Finals MVPs. All are worthy of being in the discussion. Kobe recently became the youngest player to ever reach 30,000 points in his career, and every one of them came in a Lakers uniform. He has won five championships and two Finals MVPs with L.A., and there’s no reason he can’t win a sixth. If Bryant wins a sixth ring, the Kobe vs. Michael Jordan debate may become more heated than ever. But if that day should come, there will be little debate as to who is the greatest Laker of all time.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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