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Lakers Season Countdown: 35 days, Rudy LaRusso

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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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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 35 days until the regular season begins, with one of the guys who liked to do all of the dirty work.

Who wore it the best: Rudy LaRusso

(Credit: National Basketball Association, Getty Images)

Rudy LaRusso was drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers in the second round of the 1959 NBA draft. He would go onto play in the NBA for 10 years, 8 with the Lakers and 2 with the San Francisco Warriors. Known for his toughness & rebounding on the court, Rudy was given the nickname "Roughhouse".

He was the Lakers starting power forward, standing at 6'7", and played alongside Laker greats Elgin Baylor & Jerry West. He was a 4-time All-Star and helped lead the Lakers to the playoffs 7 times & the NBA Finals 4 times, even though they lost all 4 times to the Boston Celtics. Rudy passed away from Parkinson's disease in 2004.

Seasons w/ Lakers

Years

ppg

rpg

apg

spg

bpg

mpg

Rudy LaRusso

8

1960-67

14.1

9.6

2.1

-

-

32.5

Who wore it last: Mark Madsen

Known in Laker Land more for his dancing than his on court production, Mark Madsen was drafted by the LA Lakers with the 29th pick in the 2000 NBA draft. He had a 9 year NBA career, in which he played 3 seasons with the Lakers and 6 with the Timberwolves. Over his Laker career, he averaged 2.6 points & 2.6 rebounds in 11.3 minutes per game.

Mark Madsen became a fan favorite in LA because of his unwillingness to back down and his relentless effort when he got into the game. This type of play earned him the nickname "Mad Dog". He wasn't a key piece to the 2001 or 2002 Championship Laker teams, but he served as a backup center and always tried to get the crowd into it when he got into the games. Madsen became a free agent at the end of the 2002-03 season, and signed with the Timberwolves.

#35 - Who has worn it:

Rudy LaRusso (1960-1067)

Rick Roberson (1970-1971)

Bill Bridges (1973)

Don Ford (1976-1980)

Joe Cooper (1983)

Billy Ray Bates (1983)

Larry Spriggs (1984-1986)

Tony Brown (1991)

Doug Christie (1993)

Joe Kleine (1997)

Mark Madsen (2001-2003)