The Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s were a great dynasty for several reasons and more reasons because they had Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Earvin Johnson and Pat Riley as their head coach and Jerry West as their general manager. They had the best center of all-time, the best point guard of all-time, one of the best head coaches of all-time in Pat Riley, one of the best executives of all-time in Jerry West. And a great chief executive in Jerry Buss, again one of the best ever. All these people are Hall of Famers and in Jerry West a Hall of Famer as one of the best players of all-time as well as one of the best general managers of all-time.
And you add in James Worthy another Hall of Famer and a guy who played both small forward and power forward at 6’9 225 pounds the size to play both positions and you throw in their fast break, I believe the best ever with their ability to defend, rebound, run the floor. Kareem, Magic, Riley and their fast break is what they are known for, but these are just some of the reasons why they were a great dynasty.
You had Jerry West putting the teams together, Pat Riley leading the teams and then Kareem and Magic, both two of the best players of all-time not just at their positions and you can make a good case for both of them that they are the best basketball players of all-time period as their lead players, with Worthy backing them up, who on most other teams in the NBA would be the best player on the team, but since he played for the Showtime Lakers he was the third best player.
The Showtime Lakers had three of the best players in the league all on the same team with the best head coach in the league at least at the time in Pat Riley with their three franchise players. One or two of them even could have a bad game, not in a championship game, at least not two of them and the Lakers could still win. Because two or just one of them was great enough to pick up the slack for one or two players. The Celtics back then were the only other team in the NBA that had that.
With all that, that’s still not enough to be NBA champions, that’s most of the pieces, but not all of them. They had great role players as well, Byron Scott great outside shooter and defender, Michael Cooper the same thing and with the ability to play both guard positions and small forward. Kurt Rambis excellent post defender, rebounder and ran the floor very well and a great hustle player. AC Green another excellent rebounder and post defender who ran the floor very well and could score a little as well. Mychal Thompson a great third big man, the ability to play both center and power Forward. Could rebound defend, score and ran the floor very well as well.
The Showtime Lakers are known for their fast break, but what doesn’t get mentioned is why they are a great fast break team. Back then the Lakers were also one of the best defensive teams if not the best defensive team as well as a very good rebounding team and the best passing team in the league. Their defense and rebounding led to their fast breaks, with Earvin Johnson the best Point Guard the NBA has ever seen running the Laker show.
But with Kareem, Magic, Worthy, their outside shooters, they were also a great half court team. The Showtime Lakers were like a great movie or TV show with a great producer, director, great lead actors and great character actors with everyone knowing their roles and playing them up to their best ability. Which is why I believe the Showtime Lakers are the best NBA dynasty of all time.