There are few more NBA sides that are as instantly recognisable as the Los Angeles Lakers. They are one of the most franchises in the world of sport, and even fans that don’t follow basketball are of the Lakers.
Success has been evident on the court throughout the history of the LA side, as they have won 17 champions, 19 conference titles and 33 division titles.
However, it’s the players that have represented the Lakers that have made them so popular.
Larger than lift characters such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James have represented the Lakers in modern history, but who are the five tallest players to have ever pulled on the famous jersey?
Chuck Nevitt is among the top 10 tallest players in NBA history, as he stands at 7 ft 5 in. He only played one year with the Lakers between 1984-85. However, his season at center for the Lakers did end in success, and he was crowned NBA champion at the conclusion of the season.
That also makes him one of the tallest players to have won the NBA Championship. Following his season with the Lakers, he went on to play for the Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs.
When it comes to the tall players that have represented the Lakers, few have managed to reach the level than Abdul-Jabbar managed to throughout his career. He joined the NBA in 1969 with the Milwaukee Bucks, before joining the Lakers in 1975. He spent 14 years with the Lakers, and during that time, he won the NBA Championship on five occasions.
The center also won the NBA Finals MVP on two occasions during his career, with the second of those awards coming during his time with the Lakers. Furthermore, he won the NBA’s MVP award on six occasions during his career. Abdul-Jabbar’s legacy with the Lakers remains in tact, as he is the third-highest scorer in the history of the franchise.
Many consider Wilt Chamberlain to be one of the greatest players to have ever played in the NBA. Stood at 7 ft 1 in, he spent the final five years of his career with the Lakers. He won the second of his two NBA Championships with the franchise in 1972, where he was also awarded the NBA Finals MVP for the first time in his career.
His only other NBA Championship came during his three-year spell with the Philadelphia 76ers. Chamberlain also played in the NBA All-Star game on 13 occasions during his career, and scored 31,419 points in total. His number 13 jersey was retired by the Lakers following his retirement in 1973.
Elmore Smith was a giant for the Lakers during his career, as the star was listed at a height of 7ft and played for the franchise for two years between 1973 and 1975. He led the NBA for blocks in the 1974 season, and also was named in the NBA All-Rookie First Team during his first season with the Buffalo Bills. Smith scored a total of 7,541 points throughout his career, and registered 5,962 rebounds and 1,183 blocks.
During his time with the Lakers, he averaged just over 12 points per game, and blocked an NBA-high of 4.9 per game. His record of 17 blocks in a fixture against Portland remains an unbeaten tally that hasn’t been surpassed since. After leaving the Lakers, Smith played for two years with the Milwaukee Bucks, before playing the final two years of his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers.