Number 10 – Gail Goodrich
For his review we picked the season in which Goodrich won his only championship, the 1971-72 season.
Here is an excerpt from ‘The Greatest Lakers of All-Time: Gail Goodrich‘:
This came in the shape of Gail Goodrich. In the 1971-72 season he stepped up, leading the team in scoring as he averaged 25.9 points a game, a huge leap from the disappointing season before in which he scored 17.5 per game. Goodrich was starting to feel at home as a star in a Laker uniform, earning himself his first All-Star appearance in the purple and gold.
This was desperately required by the team, West and Goodrich were the only 2 players to average 20+ points a night that season. Chamberlain suffered a major drop off in production, scoring only 14.8 PPG in his second to last season. Wilt the Stilt’s rebounds stood strong, however. Picking up from 18.2 the season before to 19.2 in this campaign. Leaving scoring the only hole to fill, Goodrich was more than capable of that, as he proved.
Another factor in the Lakers being victorious that season would be the role players from the season prior stepping up. Other then Goodrich, 23-year-old Jim McMillian would take a leap in scoring in his sophomore year. In his rookie season, McMillian only mustered 8.4 PPG. During his second year in the league opportunities would open up, firstly coming in the form of his minutes, jumping from 21 MPG to 38 MPG. His FGA per game would more than double due to this, going up from 7.8 to 16.6. This all culminated, resulting in McMillian’s scoring jumping from 8.4 PPG to 18.8 PPG.
To read on, make sure to go and check out the original article.
After being selected with a territorial pick by the Lakers in the 1965 NBA Draft, Goodrich was considered too small to succeed at the NBA level. He would go on to prove his doubters wrong.
Whilst with the purple and gold, he won 4 All-Star selections, an All-NBA First Team selection, an NBA Championship, and an induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
In 1996 the Lakers made it so no other Laker would wear number 25 again, hanging his jersey in the rafters of The Forum, and now the Staples Center. Cementing his place as a true Laker great!