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“Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson over Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in today’s NBA”: Byron Scott firmly took his pick on which Lakers legend he would have as the greatest of all time

Samir Mehdi

“Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson over Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in today’s NBA”: Byron Scott firmly took his pick which Lakers legend he would have as the greatest of all time

Byron Scott elaborated on when and how he would take Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with respect to the eras. 

The Los Angeles Lakers have had the greatest collection of talent for their rosters over the 75 years that they have been in the NBA. Everybody from George Mikan to Kobe Bryant and now LeBron James, some of the greatest players to have stepped foot on NBA hardwood have put on the purple and gold at some point in their careers. 

In between Mikan and LeBron, we’ve had guys like Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar along with Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O’Neal bring a multitude of championships to Los Angeles (and Minneapolis). 

With such a rich history of superstars, it’s tough to pick just one player to crown as the greatest Laker of all time. With the Celtics, it’s easy to anoint either Bill Russell or Larry Bird with the title. Not so easy with their arch-rivals.

Also read: “I almost joined the Bulls because Shaq said Penny and I were the essentially”: When Kobe Bryant told the Lakers legend he nearly requested a trade to the team that Michael Jordan built

However, when it comes to that question, the majority of NBA fans pick between two players: Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson. 

Byron Scott on Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. 

Byron Scott is someone who has a unique perspective on this debate as he’s been in close quarters with Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He was on the Lakers championship roster which won titles in the 80s alongside the latter two and played a pivotal role as a role player for them. 

When it comes to Bryant, he took the high-schooler turned pro under his wing in his rookie season and retired after that season ended. Fast-forward to the mid-2010s and he would return to the Lakers to coach Kobe Bryant in his final season with them.

Also read: “I was chilling, they shook the tree and the Mamba fell out”: When Kobe Bryant savagely taunted Allen Iverson after dropping 49 points on a chirpy Kenyon Martin

So, not only did Scott see Magic and KAJ in their primes, he witnessed Bryant’s career from start to finish. His take on the greatest Laker of all time is one that should most definitely not be taken with a grain of salt. 

Of course, he answered the question posed by Dan Patrick in a diplomatic way and revealed that going by eras makes more sense. 

Starting a team in the 80s would have to have Kareem at the helm whereas starting a team in today’s league would require you to take either one of Kobe or Magic, according to Scott. 

About the author

Samir Mehdi

Samir Mehdi


Samir Mehdi is a senior strategist for the NBA division at The Sportsrush. Ever since he was 13 years old, he’s been obsessed with the game of basketball. From watching Kobe Bryant’s highlights on YouTube to now, analyzing and breaking down every single game on League Pass, Samir’s passion for the game is unwavering. He's a complete basketball junkie who not only breaks down current games but also keenly watches ones from the 60s’ and 70s’ while also reading comprehensive books on the history of the league. Samir’s life revolves around basketball and he hopes that shows in his work. Aside from work, he loves to spend time in the gym and with his friends at social gatherings.

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