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Lakers Season Countdown: 3 days, Elmore Smith

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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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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-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 3 days until the regular season begins, with "Elmore The Rejector".

Who wore it the best: Elmore Smith

(Credit: Focus On Sport, Getty Images)

I know I'm going to get some heat for not selecting fan favorites Sedale Threatt or Trevor Ariza, but hear me out on this one. I know most of you have never heard of Elmore Smith, but how do you turn away a player who averaged a double-double for the Lakers with almost 5 blocks a game, and holds the NBA record for blocks in a game that he achieved as a Laker. Elmore Smith was a blocking machine in his hay-day. He only played two seasons with the Lakers, but in a game against the Trail Blazers in 1973, Elmore Smith blocked 17 shots.

Nobody has come close to tying his record in 42 years. Shaquille O'Neal and Manute Bol have games of 15 blocks (Manute with 2 such games) & Mark Eaton and Elmore Smith (again) have 2 games each of 14 blocks, but nobody has been able to surpass 17. In his two seasons with the Lakers, Smith averaged at least 10 points, 10 rebounds & 3 blocks. But it was in his first year with the Lakers that Smith averaged 4.85 blocks over 81 games, the 3rd best mark in NBA history. Only Mark Eaton (5.56) & Manute Bol (4.96) had higher averages over the course of a season.

Some credit Elmore Smith as the reason the NBA started to officially record blocked shots. 1973-74, the year in which Smith recorded 4.85 bpg, was the first year in which the NBA started to record blocked shots. This season was Smith's 3rd in the NBA; who knows what he averaged in his first two years. Smith, while a great player for the Lakers, may have had his biggest impact for the franchise in the 1975 offseason, as he was traded along with Brian Winters, Junior Bridgeman & Dave Meyers to the Milwaukee Bucks for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Seasons w/ Lakers

Years

ppg

rpg

apg

spg

bpg

mpg

Elmore Smith

2

1974-1975

11.7

11.1

1.9

1.0

3.9

34.0

Who wore it last: Manny Harris

Manny Harris, born Corperryale L'Adorable Harris, entered the 2010 NBA draft after 3 years at the University of Michigan. projected to go somewhere in the second round, Manny suffered a hamstring injury weeks before the draft, and subsequently went undrafted. Manny played for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2010 summer league and eventually earned a contract with the Cavs. After appearing in 54 games for the Cavs during the 2010-11 season, Manny was not retained for the following season.

After stints in the D-League, the Cavs called up Manny again for the last 26 games of the 2011-12 season. The following season saw much of the same. Manny would play in the D-League for the majority of the season, posting huge scoring numbers and being named to the D-League's All-Star team. With many injuries to the Lakers back court, Manny was called up to the Lakers for 9 games during the season. He averaged 8.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists & 0.4 steals in 20.0 minutes per game. Manny spent all of the 2014-15 season in the D-League.

#3 - Who has worn it:

Elmore Smith (1974-1975)

Jeff Lamp (1988-1989)

Jay Vincent (1990)

Sedale Threatt (1992-1996)

Devean George (2000-2006)

Shammond Williams (2007)

Trevor Ariza (2008-2009)

Devin Ebanks (2011-2013)

Shawne Williams (2014)

Manny Harris (2014)

Anthony Brown (2016 - future)