The 21 Greatest NBA stars that played for a single team

Dirk Nowitzki NBA, Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Dirk Nowitzki NBA, Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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NBA stars that played for one team #2: Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant is one of just two players to play 20 seasons with the same team and is synonymous with the Lakers. He was acquired by the Lakers in a draft-night trade with the Charlotte Hornets as a teenager and was immediately paired with Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal. Four seasons later, the duo would win the first of three straight championships and later make a fourth NBA Finals.

After losing to the Detroit Pistons and O’Neal forcing his way out of Los Angeles, the team fully became Bryant’s. During that four-year span, he averaged a staggering 30.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.6 assists per game before the team acquired Pau Gasol in 2008.

Bryant then led the Lakers to three straight NBA Finals and won back-to-back championships and Finals MVPs. After those championships, the Lakers made the playoffs just twice in his final five seasons, but Bryant stuck through it. Bryant ended his career as a Laker in spectacular fashion, dropping 60 points in his final game, a record.

While Magic helped make the Lakers a household name, Bryant turned the franchise into a global brand. He helped keep the team remain relevant and winning for two decades and is one of the most decorated basketball players ever. The fact that he did it all with the Lakers makes his inclusion on this list a no-brainer.