Derek Fisher
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<b>How the 2008 Lakers were built</b>

Derek Fisher
Guard Derek Fisher returned to the Lakers after three seasons away, bringing a veteran presence to the team. He made 40.6% of his three-point shots and 88.3% of his free throws.

Height: 6-1
Weight: 210
Years pro: 12
College: Arkansas Little Rock

Acquired: Signed as a free agent in 2007. The Lakers originally selected Fisher with the 24th pick in the 1996 NBA draft.

Claim to fame: Fisher made one of the most memorable shots in Lakers history, a 16-footer with 0.4 of a second left to beat San Antonio in Game 5 of the 2004 Western Conference semifinals.


• Sports A-Z: Derek Fisher (Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times)
Kobe Bryant
After a turbulent off-season in which he asked to be traded, guard Kobe Bryant led the Lakers to the best record in the Western Conference, averaging 28.3 points per game.

Height: 6-6
Weight: 205
Years pro: 12
High school: Lower Merion (Pa.)

Acquired: In a 1996 trade with Charlotte for Vlade Divac after the Hornets took Bryant with the 13th pick in the draft.

Claim to fame: Bryant’s 81-point game against Toronto on Jan. 22, 2006, is the second highest total in NBA history, behind only Wilt Chamberlain’s 100.


• Sports A-Z: Kobe Bryant (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Pau Gasol
The acquisition of center Pau Gasol in February energized the Lakers, who went 5-1 in his first six games to complete a critical 7-2 trip.

Height: 7-0
Weight: 250
Years pro: 7
College: None (turned pro out of Spain)

Acquired: In a Feb. 1 trade with Memphis for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittendon and two first-round picks.

Claim to fame: Named MVP of the 2006 FIBA World Championships in leading Spain to the gold medal, despite missing the final because of a broken bone in his left foot.


• Sports A-Z: Pau Gasol (Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times)
Lamar Odom
Forward Lamar Odom has become a factor on the boards since Pau Gasol arrived, helping to make up for the absence of the injured Andrew Bynum.

Height: 6-10
Weight: 230
Years pro: 9
College: Rhode Island

Acquired: In a trade with Miami in 2004 for Shaquille O’Neal. The Lakers also got Caron Butler, Brian Grant and a first-round draft pick in the deal.

Claim to fame: Scored 36 points in the Catholic high school championship game in New York, breaking the individual scoring record shared by Lew Alcindor, Kenny Anderson and Felipe Lopez .


• Sports A-Z: Lamar Odom (Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times)
Vladimir Radmanovic
Forward Vladimir Radmanovic is a potentially dangerous scorer from both outside and inside, but he’s an erratic defender and sometimes gets in early foul trouble.

Height: 6-10
Weight: 235
Years pro: 7
College: None (Turned pro from Serbia & Montenegro)

Acquired: Signed as a free agent in 2006.

Claim to fame: Scored 18 points including a Clippers playoff record five three-pointers against Phoenix in 2006.


• Sports A-Z: Vladimir Radmanovic (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Jordan Farmar
Although undersized by NBA standards, point guard Jordan Farmar has become a guiding force on the Lakers’ highly successful second unit.

Height: 6-2
Weight: 180
Years pro: 2
College: UCLA

Acquired: Selected with the 26th pick of the 2005 draft.

Claim to fame: Led Taft High of Woodland Hills to the L.A. City Section championship before becoming the point guard who led UCLA to a Final Four appearance in 2005-06.


• Sports A-Z: Jordan Farmar (Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times)
Sasha Vujacic
Shooting guard Sasha Vujacic has become an offensive specialist off the bench, taking more than half of his shots from three-point range.

Height: 6-7
Weight: 205
Years pro: 4
College: None (Turned pro out of Slovenia as a teenager)

Acquired: Selected with the 27th pick of the 2004 draft.

Claim to fame: In 2003-04, appeared in 30 games for Snaidero Udine of Italy’s top professional league, averaging 14.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.4 steals.


• Sports A-Z: Sasha Vujacic (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
DJ Mbenga
Center DJ Mbenga is a defensive force in the middle who has played some valuable minutes in the playoffs.

Height: 7-0
Weight: 255
Years pro: 4
College: None (turned pro out of Congo)

Acquired: Signed as a free agent in January after injuries to centers Chris Mihm and Andrew Bynum.

Claim to fame: Speaks five languages -- two dialects from the Congo, French, Portuguese and limited English -- and is a black belt in judo.


• Sports A-Z: DJ Mbenga (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Ronny Turiaf
Power forward Ronny Turiaf has been an integral part of the Lakers’ second unit, playing both forward and center as needed.

Height: 6-10
Weight: 270
Years pro: 4
College: Gonzaga

Acquired: Selected with the 37th pick in the 2005 draft.

Claim to fame: Played high school basketball with current NBA players Tony Parker, Boris Diaw and Johan Petro in Paris. He’s one of two Lakers who speaks five languages (DJ Mbenga is the other).


• Sports A-Z: Ronny Turiaf (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Luke Walton
Small forward Luke Walton has provided the Lakers with his trademark versatility this season, able to meld with the stars when he starts or with the second unit when he comes off the bench.

Height: 6-8
Weight: 235
Years pro: 5
College: Arizona

Acquired: Selected with the 32nd pick in the 2003 draft.

Claim to fame: The son of Hall of Fame center Bill Walton is one of only three players in Pacific 10 Conference history to tally 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in a career.


• Sports A-Z: Luke Walton (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Chris Mihm
Center Chris Mihm, tipping in an offensive rebound against the Clippers earlier this season, has battled injuries during his tenure with the team, missing the entire 2006-07 season and a majority of this season with ankle injuries.

Height: 7-0
Weight: 265
Years pro: 7
College: Texas

Acquired: Before the start of the 2004-05 season when the Lakers traded Gary Payton and Rick Fox to the Boston Celtics for Mihm and guards Chucky Atkins and Marcus Banks.

Claim to fame: If he had stayed healthy and productive, the Lakers might never have acquired center Andrew Bynum.


• Sports A-Z: Chris Mihm (NBAE / Getty Images)
Ira Newble
Veteran forward Ira Newble has seen limited minutes since joining the team late this season after injuries to forwards Trevor Ariza and Luke Walton.

Height: 6-7
Weight: 220
Years pro: 8
College: Miami (Ohio)

Acquired: Signed as a free agent in March.

Claim to fame: He really did witness LeBron James’ rise to greatness as a starter with the Cleveland Cavaliers.


• Sports A-Z: Ira Newble (NBAE / Getty Images)
Coby Karl
Shooting guard Coby Karl is just that -- a marksman from long range.

Height: 6-5
Weight: 215
Years pro: Rookie
College: Boise State

Acquired: Signed as a free agent in July.

Claim to fame: The son of Denver Nuggets Coach George Karl turned heads in the Summer-Pro League when he averaged 12.2 points.


• Sports A-Z: Coby Karl (Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times)
Andrew Bynum
Center Andrew Bynum blossomed this season into a force with which to reckon before an injury to his left knee derailed him in January.

Height: 7-0
Weight: 275
Years pro: 3
High school: St. Joseph (Metuchen, N.J.)

Acquired: Selected with the 10th pick in the 2005 draft.

Claim to fame: Youngest player ever selected in the NBA draft and youngest player to ever play in an NBA regular season game at 18 years and 6 days.


• Sports A-Z: Andrew Bynum (Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times)
Trevor Ariza
Small forward Trevor Ariza helped solidify the team’s second unit with his standout defense after he arrived via trade in November.

Height: 6-9
Weight: 210
Years pro: 3
College: UCLA

Acquired: Acquired in a trade with Orlando for forward Brian Cook and guard Maurice Evans.

Claim to fame: Helped Westchester High win two state titles before playing a season at UCLA.


• Sports A-Z: Tevor Ariza (Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times)
Phil Jackson
Coach Phil Jackson returned to the Lakers in June 2005 after taking a year off from coaching. His first term as Lakers coach was from 1999 to 2004, when he guided the team to three consecutive NBA titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002.


• Sports A-Z: Phil Jackson (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)