Purple and Gold secures the city's first three-peat. The Phil Jackson-Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O'Neal Lakers had accomplished everything by the evening of June 12th, 2002. In 2000, they won their first ring after intense battles with the Blazers and Pacers. In 2001, they won their second ring after defeating the Jazz in seven games. In 2002, they won their third ring after beating the Nets in six games.
All that was left was for Shaquille O'Neal to win his first championship as a Laker. But on June 11th, 2002, while playing against the New Jersey Nets, Shaquille O'Neal suffered a knee injury that required surgery. He missed the rest of the season and was not sure if he would be able to play again.
But just a few months later, in the summer of 2002, Shaquille O'Neal came back from what seemed like retirement to help the Lakers win their fourth championship. During training camp, he announced that this season would be his last. After 13 years with the team, Kobe Bryant was ready to move on and find another challenge. But first, he wanted to go down in history as one of the greatest players of all time along with Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
The Los Angeles Lakers The Shaq-Kobe dispute was a rivalry between NBA players Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, who played together with the Los Angeles Lakers from 1996 until 2004. They won three straight NBA titles (2000, 2001, and 2002) and were in the NBA Finals in 2004. The two players had conflicts on and off the court throughout their career, but still managed to produce many memorable moments for their fans.
Their feud began in April 2000 when Bryant called out O'Neal by name as one of his competitors for the league's MVP award. At the time, both players were being considered for the award after each led their teams to the playoffs. However, only Bryant remained in contention after O'Neal was traded to Miami before the start of the season. Despite this fact, the media has continued to report on the feud between the two stars.
Bryant later apologized for naming O'Neal as one of his competitors, but the apology didn't help resolve the situation. In an interview with ESPN's Chris Connelly in October 2016, Bryant said he wasn't going to let what happened in 2000 affect him personally or professionally. He also added that he hoped one day they could work out their differences and become friends.
After winning their third title in 2002, O'Neal announced that the following season would be his last with the Lakers.
Years later, the Lakers completed a three-peat by winning the NBA championship in 2000, 2001, and 2002. They became only the second team to do so (the Boston Celtics have since done so). In each of these years, they defeated the New York Knicks in the Finals.
Although the Lakers had already won two championships before Shaquille O'Neal joined them in 1996, many considered this year to be their third because 1999 was canceled due to the Kobe Bryant suspension list. The Lakers went 72-9 during that season, which is the best record in NBA history. They also won their first title that year without Shaq playing any role in any of their victories. Instead, they beat the Indiana Pacers in five games with Andrew Bynum stepping up into a major role as a rookie center.
Since then, the Lakers have been unable to repeat as champions but they have still managed to win another title in 2009. This makes them the most successful franchise in California sports history.
Additionally, the Lakers have also won four more titles as members of the Western Conference National Basketball Association (NBA) division they have called the "Clippers" division since 1997. That makes them the most successful team in Los Angeles sports history.
After failing in their first effort at a three-peat in 1951 after winning the NBA Championship the previous two seasons, the Minneapolis Lakers won three titles in a row from 1952 to 1954, becoming the league's first club to do so. Owner George Mikan was also named MVP of all three Finals appearances.
By winning three straight titles, the Lakers ensured themselves of finishing no worse than second place during those years. The New York Knicks, who had finished ahead of them each year since 1947, were not able to repeat as champions due to the presence of another strong team in the form of the Boston Celtics. However, the Lakers' failure to defeat either the Knicks or the Celtics during that period proves that they were not only the best team in the league, but also worthy opponents.
Additionally, the Lakers became just the third team in NBA history to win three consecutive championships following the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers. They are also the only team to have accomplished this feat while playing for different franchises during those years (Minneapolis/Los Angeles).
The Lakers lost in five games in 1952, four in 1953, and three in 1954 to the Celtics, with the series ending on February 25, 1954, when Sam Jones hit a free throw with 1.9 seconds left to give Boston a 93-92 victory over Los Angeles.
The Lakers made the playoffs in 2004 and lost to the Detroit Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals. Shaq defeated himself against Detroit, "Lakers assistant coach Tex Winter said." He gave up his body trying to block shots and help out on defense, but still managed to score 71 points in the game. The next year, he played even worse and got injured after only three games.
As you can see, losing is something that happens very often for Shaquille O'Neal.
In Game 5, Ron Artest made an off-balance layup to beat the buzzer off a Kobe Bryant miss to give the Lakers the victory. The Lakers then proceeded to beat the Suns on their home floor in Game 6, led by Kobe Bryant's 37 points. The Game 6 victory gave the Lakers their 31st NBA Finals appearance in franchise history. It was also their third championship in four years.
The Lakers were able to defeat the Boston Celtics 4 games to 1 due to great play from Kobe Bryant and company. In Game 4, which was played at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachussets, Kobe scored 51 points while making 11 of 16 shots from the field. He also added 9 rebounds and 7 assists for his efforts in that game. The Lakers went on to win 109-105. In Game 5, which was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Ron Artest made a huge impact for the L.A. team with his 19 points and 10 rebounds. The Lakers won the game 89-83 and took a 3-1 lead over the Celtics. In Game 6, which was also held at the Staples Center, the Lakers continued their dominance by defeating the Sunns 110-106 to clinch their third title in four years. Pau Gasol had another great game with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Kobe Bryant made all 4 of his free throw attempts in the final minute of play to seal the deal for the Lakers.