clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Lakers Season Countdown: 17 days, Jim Pollard

In this series, we will count down the days until the Lakers first regular season game on October 28th. Each day we will discuss who wore that number best, and who wears it now or who wore it last.

Harry How/Getty Images

We're getting ready for a brand new season of Los Angeles Lakers basketball, so to count down the days we'll be looking at the best Lakers to wear the number. We'll continue at 17 days until the regular season begins, with a player responsible for more Laker Championships than Kobe Bryant.

Who wore it the best: Jim Pollard

(Credit: Pro Hoops History, Corbis Images)

Although several players have had great Laker careers wearing #17 for the Lakers, mainly Rick Fox and Andrew Bynum, they don't even come close to the success that Jim Pollard had for the Minneapolis Lakers.

Jim Pollard Played 8 seasons with the Minneapolis Lakers, and won the Championship 6 times in those 8 years. However, the NBA does not recognize the 1948 National Basketball League (NBL) Championship. In the late 1940's their were two premiere basketball leagues (NBL & BAA), and until they joined to form the NBA in 1950, they only recognized the BAA (Basketball Association of America) Champions. The Lakers were in the NBL until they transferred to the BAA in 1949. So, technically the Lakers have 17 championships if you count the one they won in 1948, tied with the Celtics for most in NBA history.

Jim Pollard was very athletic for the time in which he played. He earned the nickname "Kangaroo Kid" because of his vertical leap and jumping ability. It has been reported that Jim Pollard would occasionally dunk from the free throw line in pre-game warm-ups. Pollard was a 6-time champion and a 4-time All-Star. Pollard went on to coach the Minneapolis Lakers in 1960, the year before they moved to Los Angeles, and was eventually inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 1978. Jim Pollard's jersey in recognized by the Lakers with several other key contributors while the Lakers were in Minneapolis, but they have not retired his number.

Seasons w/ Lakers

Years

ppg

rpg

apg

spg

bpg

mpg

Jim Pollard

8

1948-55

13.2

7.8

3.1

-

-

35.4

Who wore it last: Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin went undrafted in the 2010 NBA draft after he had graduated from Harvard. After receiving an unguaranteed contract with the Golden State Warriors, he was waived in the preseason by the Warriors and the Rockets. He then went on to have a successful tenure in New York after sparking "Linsanity" by his stellar play while Carmelo Anthony was out with an injury. As a restricted free agent, he agreed to a 3 year deal with the Houston Rockets that the Knicks would not match.

After 2 years in Houston, Lin was traded to the LA Lakers along with a future first round pick. Lin appeared in 74 games, while starting in 30 of them. He averaged 11.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists & 1.1 steals in 25.8 minutes per game. Following the 2015 season, Lin signed a 2 year deal with the Charlotte Hornets.

#17 - Who has worn it:

Jim Pollard (1948-1955)

Ron Sobie (1960)

Rick Fox (1998-2004)

Andrew Bynum (2006-2012)

Jeremy Lin (2015)

Roy Hibbert (2016 - future)