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Lakers Season Countdown: 19 days, Vern Mikkelsen

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.

Stephen Dunn/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 19 days until the regular season begins, with a blast from the past.

Who wore it the best: Vern Mikkelsen

(Credit: Los Angeles Times)

Vern Mikkelsen was one of the earliest players to ever don the Purple & Gold. In 1949 when the Lakers transferred form the Basketball Association of America to the National Basketball Association, Vern was the starting power forward for the Lakers. He played alongside Laker greats George Mikan and Jim Pollard. Vern played in the NBA for 10 years, all with the Lakers.

Vern was known for his very physical play. For 3 straight years, he led the league in personal fouls and disqualifications due to foul-outs. He still hold the record for most career disqualifications. Vern played in 699 games during his career and was disqualified in 127 of those games: 18% of the time. Vern was a 6-time All-Star and helped lead the Lakers to the Finals 5 times, where they won the NBA Championship 4 of those times. Vern was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 1995.

Seasons w/ Lakers

Years

ppg

rpg

apg

spg

bpg

mpg

Vern Mikkelsen

10

1950-59

14.4

9.4

2.2

-

-

32.5

Who wore it last: Tony Campbell

Tony Campbell was selected with the 20th pick in the 1984 NBA draft by the Detroit Pistons. He played in the NBA for 11 years, only 2 with the Lakers. He also played for the Pistons, Knicks, Timberwolves, Cavaliers and Mavericks. His Laker averages ended up being 7.0 points & 2.1 rebounds in 13.5 minutes per game.

Campbell was traded to the Lakers in 1987, but after 2 underwhelming years in LA, the Lakers made him available in the expansion draft in 1989. The Timberwolves selected him and he had a much more successful season in Minnesota, where he averaged 20.6 points, 4.6 rebounds & 2.8 assists in their first season as an NBA franchise. Campbell was a member of the 1987-88 Lakers team that won the NBA Championship.

#19 - Who has worn it:

Jack Dwan (1949)

Vern Mikkelsen (1950-1959)

Tony Campbell (1988-1989)