Los Angeles Lakers: Top 30 greatest players of all-time

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29

Slater Martin

Point Guard, Minneapolis Lakers

  • 7 seasons with Minneapolis Lakers (1949-56)
  • Averaged 9.9 points and 4.1 assists per game
  • 4x All-Star, 4x NBA champion with Lakers

We’ve arrived at the first member of the 1950s Minneapolis Lakers dynasty, Slater Martin.

Martin was the point man who led the way for George Mikan’s dominant squads. Martin himself only averaged double-digits in point per game three times in his seven seasons with the Lakers, but he was a consistent starter for a team that was a perennial playoff participant and title contender. He averaged a whopping 37.6 minutes per game in a Lakers uniform.

Martin was known as a fantastic defender, although he played before steals were kept as an official statistic. His field goal percentage, on the other hand, was consistently ugly, but not unusually so for a player of that era. His job was to lock-down the opposing guard and make sure that Mikan and Vern Mikkelsen received the ball in a position to score.

After leaving Minneapolis, Martin played half of a season with the New York Knicks before finishing his career with the St. Louis Hawks, winning another NBA title in 1958. All in all, Martin played 11 seasons and won five total championships as a pro.

Martin briefly player-coached in St. Louis and was the head coach of the the Houston Mavericks of the ABA for parts of two seasons in the late 1960s, tallying a win-loss record of 32-58.

The University of Texas alum was was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982 and is one of two former Longhorns to have his jersey number retired.

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