3 Lakers Who Deserve More Credit for Back-to-Back Titles in 2009 and 2010

Kobe Bryant needed help to finish off his NBA Finals victories for the Lakers.
Kobe Bryant needed help to finish off his NBA Finals victories for the Lakers. | Harry How/Getty Images

As we look ahead to the Lakers pursuing another NBA Finals trophy, let's flash back to the back-to-back titles that came in 2009 and 2010. The late legend Kobe Bryant averaged 30 points per game in the playoffs, while Pau Gasol was a double-double machine.

Many may chalk up those titles as the work of Gasol and Bryant alone, but multiple forgotten players were crucial to LA's championship success.

3. Lamar Odom

Lamar Odom
Odom's falloff should not overshadow his contributions. | Harry How/Getty Images

People often think negatively of Lamar Odom's career due to its rapid collapse after he left Los Angeles. But Odom was an instrumental piece with the Lakers, averaging a near double-double throughout both postseasons with just under 12 points and nine rebounds. Odom also had the option to leave for Miami in the 2009 offseason, but remained committed to the franchise, and was vital to their earning another Finals trophy.

2. Derek Fisher

Derek Fisher, Ray Allen
Fisher often showed up when things mattered the most. | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Fisher was the subject of criticism for his defense throughout the 2009 postseason, causing fans to forget about his offensive contributions. All those frustrations went to bed in Game 4 of the 2009 Finals, as Fisher's pair of threes secured the series for the Lakers. In 2010, Fisher played an equally important role in late-game situations to defeat the Celtics. Fisher's championship pedigree is no joke, and many tend to forget that the Lakers' last five trophies came with him on board.

1. Andrew Bynum

Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol
Pau Gasol was one of many Lakers players to praise Bynum's toughness on the floor. | Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Bynum's career has been largely forgotten due to the injury troubles that came his way, but he was in his prime in Los Angeles. Despite playing just 19 minutes a game in 2009, Bynum went up against the league's best center in Dwight Howard, and what he contributed in 2010 was even more impressive, as Bynum played throughout the playoffs despite an injury and received respect from fans and players for his toughness. His numbers were not off the charts, but seeing Bynum's fight and grit should mean more to Los Angeles.