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Lakers’ Forgotten Studs: A.C. Green, the Forgotten All-Star – Fan’s Reflection

A.C. Green was a Much Better Player and a Far More Important Piece in the Lakers Winning Three NBA Titles Than Most NBA Fans Remember

Yahoo Contributor Network

Throughout the history of the Los Angeles Lakers there have been a number of standout players who will never have their numbers retired or have statues erected in their honor - call them the Lakers' Forgotten Studs.

As a Lakers fan I want to make sure their legacies are remembered.

Today's installment: A.C. Green

The Least Showy Member of Showtime

When people think of the 1980's Showtime Lakers they remember All-Stars like Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy, or athletic specialists like Byron Scott and Michael Cooper.

But Showtime had another All-Star on its roster who just happened to fly under the radar more than his higher-profile teammates.

Believe it or not, the "other" All-Star helping the Lakers win the NBA title in 1987, 1988, and 2000 was A.C. Green.

Green was not showy, flashy, or glamorous. He was the opposite of Showtime. He was a hard-working, consistent grinder, a humble scrapper who just put his head down and went to work.

But is stats show just how effective A.C. Green really was, and he was far better than most people realize.

Consistently Effective - Every Year

The Lakers drafted the 6'9" Green 23rd overall in the 1985 NBA draft after winning the 1985 NBA title.

Green was a role player in his 1986 rookie season then emerged as a starter in 1987. A.C. led the Lakers in rebounding in both 1987 (7.8 RPG) and 1988 (8.7) as the Lakers went on to win back-to-back titles.

While his stats were never eye-popping, they were consistently effective.

From 1987-1993 only ten players matched Green's totals in points (6,855) and rebounds (4,765). Six of the these players are Hall-of-Famers, including Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Patrick Ewing.

Just let that sink in for a moment: A.C. Green was a Top-11 scorer/rebounder over a seven-year period!

In 1990 A.C. Green averaged 12.9 points and 8.7 rebounds and was voted as an All-Star for his efforts.

Playoff Performer

Green's postseason contributions to the 1987 and 1988 title teams were significant.

During those back-to-back Lakers' titles he put up strong playoff averages of 10.6 points and 7.6 rebounds with a solid 55% field goal percentage.

A.C. Green was never dominant, but he was consistently effective.

He was released by the Lakers after the 1993 season and played six effective seasons between the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks.

The Lakers then traded to get A.C. Green back prior to the 2000 season.

At age 36 he teamed up with Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, and company to win the 2000 NBA title, his third as a Laker. In classic A.C. Green style, the veteran quietly finished third on the 2000 title team in rebounding at 5.9 boards per game.

Lakers fans should never forget the hustle, consistency, and effectiveness of three-time NBA champion, A.C. Green.

Andrew Sweat is a die-hard Lakers fan. For more from this author, or check these out articles:

Lakers' Forgotten Studs: Eddie Jones, the Silky Assassin

Lakers' Forgotten Studs: Nick Van Exel and His Killer Swagger

Lakers' Forgotten Studs: Cedric Ceballos, Scoring Machine

Lakers' Forgotten Studs Archive: Rick Fox | Norm Nixon | Happy Hairston | Sedale Threatt | Elden Campbell | Bob McAdoo | Sam Perkins | Jim Chones | Rudy LaRusso | Dick Barnett | Walt Hazzard | Mel Counts

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