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Lakers Season Countdown: 12 days, Vlade Divac

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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.

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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 12 days until the regular season begins, with a man who was involved in one of the most important trades in Lakers history.

Who wore it the best: Vlade Divac

(Credit: Ken Levine, Getty Images)

Vlade Divac was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 29th pick in the first round of the 1989 NBA draft. Vlade played in the NBA for 16 years, half of those years with the Purple & Gold. Although many know Vlade for his time in Sacramento in which the Kings and Lakers had many intense battles in the early 2000's, Vlade had much success for the Lakers in the early part of his career. After his rookie season, Vlade became the starting center for the Lakers for the next 6 years, where he averaged close to a double-double every year.

However, in one of the most important trades in Laker history, Vlade was traded to the Charlotte Hornets on the night of the 1996 NBA draft for the draft rights to a 17 year old kid out of high school, Kobe Bryant. Vlade played only two years in Charlotte before signing with the Sacramento Kings as a free agent. Vlade became an All-Star with the Kings during the 2000-01 season. After 6 years in Sacramento, Vlade signed with the Lakers where he would play in 15 games before he eventually retired.

Seasons w/ Lakers

Years

ppg

rpg

apg

spg

bpg

mpg

Vlade Divac

8

1990-96 & 2005

12.2

8.5

2.6

1.2

1.6

29.0

Who wore it last: Vander Blue

After going undrafted in the 2013 NBA draft, Vander Blue played in the NBA Summer League with the Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies. Blue didn't make either team, but was signed by the 76ers at the start of the season. It was short lived however, as he was waived a month later. He then played in the D-league for the 87ers while also getting a call-up to the NBA with the Boston Celtics.

Blue played in the 2014 Summer League with San Antonio Spurs and eventually signed with the Wizards at the start of the season. However, this stint was even shorter than last years as he was waived a week later. He then played with the Stampede of the D-League before being traded to the Los Angeles D-Fenders, where he would earn a place on the D-league All-Star team. Blue was called up to the Lakers to deal with several injuries at the end of the 2015 season. In the final two games of the season, Blue played 26 & 48 minutes and averaged 11.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists & 1.5 steals.

#12 - Who has worn it:

Don Smith (1949)

Gene Stump (1950)

Ed Beach (1951)

Howie Schultz (1952)

Jim Holstein (1953-1955)

Boo Ellis (1959)

Gene Wiley (1963-1966)

Freddie Crawford (1968-1969)

Pat Riley (1971-1976)

Don Chaney (1977-1978)

Ronnie Lester (1985-1976)

Vlade Divac (1990-2005)

Jerome Kersey (1997)

Derek Harper (1999)

Mike Penberthy (2001-2002)

Jannero Pargo (2003-2004)

Shannon Brown (2009-2011)

Dwight Howard (2013)

Kendall Marshall (2014)

Vander Blue (2015)

Robert Upshaw (2016 - future)