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LeBron James doesn't include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in his all-time Lakers starting five

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James attempted the extremely tough task of creating the greatest starting five of Lakers players ever. James, who ended up excluding Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on his list, did create a pretty amazing lineup. “All-time starting five for the Lakers?” James said. “I’m going Magic [Johnson] at 1, Jerry West at the 2, Kobe [Bryant] at the 3, myself at the 4 and Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal) at the 5.”
It’s hard to argue with that group, but keeping the league’s all-time leading scorer in Abdul-Jabbar off of the list is certainly a tough pill to swallow for some Lakers fans. James justified his selections afterwards, and he even said he’d take himself out for teammate Anthony Davis. “I mean Shaq is so dominant, man,” James said. “I mean, I love Kareem too. I can’t even front on that, but Shaq’s so dominant, we need a big cuz I’m playing the 4, so we need a big. A.D. already put himself in the Top 5? Well put A.D. in, take me out.”
Tim Hardaway, presented by Isiah Thomas (’00), Mitch Richmond (‘14), Chris Mullin (‘11), Yolanda Griffith (‘21), Nate Archibald (‘91) Manu Ginobili, presented by Tim Duncan (’20) Lindsay Whalen, presented by Dawn Staley (‘13), Charles Barkley (’06) Swin Cash, presented by Tamika Catchings (‘20), Teresa Weatherspoon (‘19), Tina Thompson (‘18), Isiah Thomas (’00), Geno Auriemma (‘06) Bob Huggins, presented by Jerry West (‘80), Rod Thorn (‘18) George Karl, presented by Roy Williams (‘07), Gary Payton (‘13), Bobby Jones (‘19)
Q: You’ve criticized HBO’s “Winning Time” for an exaggerated depiction of Los Angeles Laker former star and general manager Jerry West. Any other show critiques? Shaq: This was before my time, but that depiction of Jerry West was despicable. He’s not that guy. Jerry West was a fine general manager, always did right by me. All the other stuff I thought was cool. As a fan, and someone who watches TV, the cinematography and action were great. It’s shot very well. But not the way they treated Mr. West.
Storyline: Lakers Documentary

Jerry West: Bill Russell and Jackie Robinson were in the same class

“In every generation people make a difference not only with their play, but also with their persona,” said Jerry West. “Bill Russell and Jackie Robinson were in that same class.” One might think that West and Russell would be sworn enemies considering Russell’s Celtics beat West’s Lakers in six of those Finals. One would be wrong. “Bill was not my rival,” said West. “Bill was my friend.”