The team’s leading scorer of the 1990s, Elden Campbell played 618 games with the Lakers, establishing himself as one of the best blockers in team history.
A star at Morningside High in Inglewood and then at Clemson, the 6-foot-11 center was selected by the Lakers in the first round of the 1990 draft. After struggling during the first three years with the Lakers, Campbell hit his stride during the 1993-94 season, averaging 12.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game for a struggling team that posted its worst record in 44 years (.402 winning percentage).
He continued to improve his scoring and blocking statistics but also struggled with turnovers and led the league in fouls in 1995-96. With the addition of Shaquille O’Neal to the lineup in 1996-97, Campbell posted a career high in points as the Lakers’ strong inside game helped them finish second in the Pacific Division.
However, Campbell’s playing time and statistics took a dive the next season with the arrival of Rick Fox from Boston. Campbell was traded with Eddie Jones to Charlotte in exchange for B.J. Armstrong, J.R. Reid and Glen Rice in March 1999.
Campbell played five more seasons in the NBA, getting the better of O’Neal and the Lakers in the 2004 NBA Finals to win a title with Detroit.
Campbell is third in career blocks with the Lakers (1,022) and 27th in the NBA (1,602).