Our Top 5 Favourite LA Lakers jerseys
1. Kobe Bryant 1996-97 LA Lakers Hall of Fame Authentic Jersey
Debuting on November 3rd, 1996 in the Summer Pro League, Kobe was just 17 years of age when he signed his first 3 year deal with the LA Lakers. His prowess on court was only a glimpse of what was to come over his 20 year career with the Lakers, which makes the 1996-97 season for him all the more special.
Then-Lakers manager Jerry West saw the potential in Kobe straight-away, famously saying, “The one thing that you could see in all the drills was how competitive he was and how knowledgeable he was about the game. The thing you could not ignore was his enormous skill level. He was clearly, I mean clearly, head and shoulders above the people that we had brought in — just completely head and shoulders.” Jerry West knew exactly what type of players he wanted on his LA Lakers team, and Kobe was the perfect fit.
In celebration of his first year with the NBA and LA Lakers, and induction into the Hall of Fame in 2020, the Kobe Bryant 1996-97 LA Lakers Hall of Fame Authentic Jersey is the ultimate throwback to the Black Mamba. Featuring a 100% polyester mesh body, screen printed logo, name and number, and woven mamba patch, this jersey remembers his beginning of his rise to become one of the greatest players of all time.
2. Shaquille O’Neal 1996-97 LA Lakers Alternative Swingman Jersey
After leaving Orlando Magic following the 1995-96 season to become a free agent, the LA Lakers quickly snapped-up Shaquille O'Neal to become a key member of their new lineup. Although he unfortunately missed over 30 games in his first season with the Lakers due to injury, Shaq still managed to sink an average 26.2 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, even reaching the play-offs before the Lakers were eliminated by the Utah Jazz.
Although his opening season was a great success for the team, it wasn’t without on-court drama. Shaq’s competitive, hot-headed nature got the better of him on a few occasions, such as when he ‘accidentally’ (definitely on-purpose) shoved Dennis Rodman of the Chicago Bulls, almost culminating in an all-out brawl between the two legends.
To honour his first season as part of the Lakers, our Shaquille O’Neal 1996-97 LA Lakers Alternative Swingman Jersey is an essential piece to any die-hard fan’s wardrobe. The Alternative version of the jersey is finished in royal blue and white, with a powder blue trim as a throwback to the first LA Lakers jersey in 1960.
3. Kobe Bryant 2009-10 LA Lakers Home Authentic Jersey
Every Lakers fan knows how important the 2009-10 season was for Kobe—the Black Mamba was looking to get back on-top as a dominating force in the league. So what did he do? He sunk 6 game-winning shots across the season. One of these buzzer-beaters against the Miami Heat early in the season saw Kobe hit a one-legged three-pointer just as the clock was running out. His high-pressure accuracy was feared by defenders and adored by fans.
However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing as Bryant found his season riddled with injuries. Even so, the 8th Wonder of the World was still able to achieve greatness—going on to become the youngest player ever to reach 25,000 points in their career, winning his 5th NBA Championship and second consecutive NBA Finals MVP award. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Kobe was well on his way to becoming one of the greatest of all time by then.
Off the back of their 2008-2009 season win, Kobe and the LA Lakers received their championship rings in a traditional pre-game ceremony before their first home game. In commemoration, their jerseys featured a unique championship patch for this game only. Our Kobe Bryant 2009-10 LA Lakers Home Authentic Jersey is a recreation of this special jersey, featuring official screen printed name, number and logo, embroidered NBA logo and a polyester mesh construction.
4. Shaquille O’Neal 1999-00 LA Lakers Home Swingman Jersey
With Kobe at his side, the 1999-2000 season was a prolific milestone for Shaq at the LA Lakers. Dominating the court in classic Shaq fashion during the season, O’Neal was voted Most Valuable Player for the regular 1999-2000 season, only losing one vote from the panel and almost becoming the first unanimous MVP in NBA history.
On the other hand, Shaq’s on-court antics saw him ejected and fined across a number of games. A favourite moment for any Lakers die hard was O’Neal’s play against Chris Dudley on March 28th, 1999, best known as the “most disrespectful dunk in NBA history.” While that might sound extreme, Dudley and Shaq has been feuding for a while before the incident, butting heads mid-game on several occasions. The battle peaked when O’Neal monstrously dunked on Dudley then shoved him to the ground. Naturally, the now-furious Dudley responded by throwing the ball at Shaq. Both players landed themselves in hot water with a big fine after the game, while Dudley also got promptly ejected.
With a more traditional fit, the Shaquille O’Neal 1999-00 LA Lakers Home Swingman Jersey is perfectly at home on the court and the streets. It features an embroidered NBA logo, twill numbering and logo, and Authentic Hardwood Classic jocktag.
5. Magic Johnson 1984-85 LA Lakers Home Swingman Jersey
After Showtime lost the previous year’s NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics, Magic Johnson was looking to re-invigorate the Lakers to take back the championship. Tensions were brewing on the court with Johnson’s and Larry Bird’s rivalry hitting an all-time high. Both of these legends were spearheading their teams campaigns to another Finals rematch. Johnson leaded the charge respectable average 18.3 points, 12.6 assists, and 6.2 rebounds per game, which helped secure the LA Lakers into the NBA Finals against the Celtics again.
The Laker’s road to the Final wasn’t without their struggles. Memorable for all the wrong reasons, the “Memorial Day Massacre” saw the Celtics steam-roll the Lakers 148 to 114. However, after an up-hill battle against the Celtics, Magic Johnson alongside Lakers legend Abdul-Jabbar, was able to clinch victory against their long-time rivals and previous year championship winners in an epic final showdown.
Oozing old-school cool, the Magic Johnson 1984-85 LA Lakers Home Swingman Jersey features a classic 80s design, combined with modern materials for a contemporary fit. Crafted from 100% polyester, this swingman jersey is a must-have for any Lakers or 80s basketball fan.
With so many years, players and designs to choose from, it’s hard to narrow down which are our 5 best LA Lakers jerseys. Discover the full range of NBA jerseys from Mitchell & Ness to find your new favourite now.