June 17, 2024

Being a player on the Los Angeles Lakers comes with intense media scrutiny, but this can sometimes result in extra PR for players.

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Throughout the years, the Los Angeles Lakers have always catered to a huge market. Besides, the franchise is also the most decorated in the NBA with 17 total NBA championship banners and an NBA In-Season Tournament title.

 

But while the spotlight is often focused on the stars, plenty of eyes are on the Lakers to the point that even the role players garner some attention. Let’s rank the 10 Laker role players who received the greatest PR pushes.

10. Robert Sacre

 

Robert Sacre didn’t really make a significant impact that sent shockwaves into the NBA, especially with his averages of 4.2 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. Nevertheless, the former Lakers center did receive a push, even getting praises from then-coach Mike D’Antoni as the team’s best defender. While Sacre couldn’t really save the Lakers during its dark years, he did earn a place in the hearts of Lakers fans.

9. Sasha Vujacic

 

Dubbed as The Machine, Sasha Vujacic was only a player that often came off the bench. However, he surely made himself likeable among Laker fans, thanks to his scrappy plays and timely shooting. In addition to this, Vujacic did help the Lakers win two NBA championships, the second of which saw Vujacic knock down a pair of clutch free throws to seal the back-to-back.

8. Trevor Ariza

 

It’s safe to say that Trevor Ariza experienced his peak during his time with the Lakers. From being a raw prospect, Ariza developed into a reliable perimeter defender who could also contribute offensively.

In fact, he played an instrumental role in helping the Lakers win the 2009 NBA title. After winning a title with the Lakers, Ariza’s value was so high to the point that he was able to earn a five-year deal worth $33.5 million with the Houston Rockets.

7. Derek Fisher

 

Probably one of the most iconic role players in Lakers history, Derek Fisher won five NBA championships with the Purple and Gold. While he wasn’t an All-Star by any means, Fisher’s ability to stabilize the floor as a court general while being a reliable man on the clutch made him an easy candidate to admire among Laker fans. Without his timely baskets, it’s difficult to see how many titles the Lakers would have won.

6. Brian Shaw

Taking guard duties when Kobe Bryant is resting on the bench is surely an important role. As a result, it isn’t surprising when Lakers fans loved how Brian Shaw accepted those heavy responsibilities coming off the bench.

In a Lakers uniform, Shaw only averaged 4.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. However, it was his veteran leadership and timely baskets in the playoffs that gave fans plenty to be thankful for.

5. Robert Horry

 

Speaking of clutch, there’s no question that Lakers fans will remember how Robert Horry filled the gaps that were needed for the team to collect championships. Thanks to his hard work and accurate spot-up shooting, Horry was able to space the floor to allow Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal to do some damage in the shaded area. In fact, the biggest shot of his career came when he hit the game-winning 3 at the expense of the Sacramento Kings.

4. Andre Ingram

 

Life after Kobe Bryant was a difficult time for Lakers fans. However, fans did have a silver lining when they witnessed a 32-year-old math tutor achieve his NBA dreams by making his debut for the Purple and Gold.

After grinding it out in the NBA G-League, Ingram received a call-up to play for the Lakers. In his debut, Ingram exploded for 19 points, spiked by four 3-pointers in a loss against the Houston Rockets.

3. A.C. Green

 

A lot of Lakers fans will agree that A.C. Green was a consistent player for the Showtime Lakers. However, they would also agree that he wasn’t exactly a star.

But despite being just a borderline starter, Green’s popularity soared thanks to being part of the Showtime Lakers. In fact, Green even managed to get a crack at the All-Star selection as a starter despite averaging only 12.9 points per game for the 1989-90 season.

2. Austin Reaves

 

From being an undrafted NBA player to becoming a Lakers starter, there’s no doubt that Austin Reaves is the hottest Laker role player today. After initially gaining popularity as a meme, Reaves eventually worked his way up into the starting lineup thanks to his ability to complement the duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Furthermore, his toughness has coined him the nickname of Hillbilly Kobe.

1. Alex Caruso

Alex Caruso earned the love of Lakers fans thanks to his hustle and heart on the hardwood. His blue-collar worker attitude and impact on defense complemented the LeBron James-Anthony Davis duo that went on to lead the Lakers to their 17th NBA title inside the 2020 NBA Bubble. Caruso’s popularity soared further after he decided to stay inside the bubble for the Lakers in lieu of attending his sister’s wedding.

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