Well, you make some damn great points.....i'll go a bit further.
There would be no Lakers if not for Elgin Baylor who saved the franchise from folding like so many others had.......eventually enabling the team to move to LA.....he was a pioneer, Jerry West.....the LOGO, despite taking forever to win the title exemplified the spirit and greatness of the Lakers and has done more for the franchise than anyone else. I would be remiss to leave out Mr. Chick Hearn who was the voice and spirit...and mentor to this franchise and was so essential for all those many years the NBA games were not televised and you could only get games on radio....with the exception of a few nationally televised games.....even some NBA finals games aired at 11:30pm after the news. When you think of the Forum, you will always think of Magic Johnson and YES, if not for him, Staples wouldn't be there, 5 banners wouldn't be there......but reality is that when you think of Staples Center, now and throughout it's history you will only think of Kobe, this is his house, this is his team and all of the "Moments" within belong to Kobe. 81 points will live forever, his 5+ rings
will be THE LAKERS, for the years to come, unsurpassed by anyone in a Lakers uniform......as it is now, kids don't know Magic the way we know Magic. Would Magic have won more rings if he hadn't retired
that doesn't make any difference, this is about reality not speculation......maybe Kobe wins another 3 titles if he appeased Shaq and now would have 8 rings....who knows, who cares.
Reallity is that Magic may have an overall edge on offense but Kobe has an enormous edge on defense and is and will be remembered as the greatest Laker of all time.
I only mentioned players I saw play live...so no Mikan.