The Los Angeles Lakers have a storied history in the National Basketball Association (NBA). From dominating the league in the 1980s to capturing multiple championships in the early 2000s, the Lakers have provided their fans with numerous unforgettable moments. Here are five of the greatest moments in Laker’s basketball history.
Magic Johnson’s Rookie Season
The Lakers needed a spark in the 1979-80 season to propel them to a championship. They found it in rookie point guard Magic Johnson. In Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Philadelphia 76ers, the Lakers’ star center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar went down with an ankle injury. Johnson, who had already played a significant role in the series, stepped up and played the center position for the remainder of the game. He scored 42 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and dished out seven assists to lead the Lakers to victory and clinch the NBA championship. It was a historic moment that marked the beginning of Johnson’s legendary career.
In the early 2000s, the Lakers were again a dominant force in the NBA. Led by the dynamic duo of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, the Lakers captured three consecutive championships from 2000 to 2002. During the 2000 championship series against the Indiana Pacers, O’Neal was named the Finals MVP, while Bryant was honored in the next two championships. The Lakers’ three-peat was a testament to the incredible talent and chemistry of O’Neal and Bryant, as well as the coaching of Phil Jackson.
“The Shot” by Robert Horry
In Game 4 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals against the Sacramento Kings, the Lakers were trailing by one point with just a few seconds left on the clock. That’s when Robert Horry made one of the most clutch shots in the Lakers’ history. With 11 seconds remaining, the ball was inbounded to Kobe Bryant, who drove toward the basket and drew in multiple defenders. He kicked the ball out to Horry, who was waiting beyond the arc. Horry calmly sank the three-point shot to give the Lakers a 100-98 lead. The Lakers would go on to win the game and eventually the championship. “The Shot” by Horry is still considered one of the greatest moments in Lakers’ history.
Kobe Bryant’s 81-Point Game
On January 22, 2006, Kobe Bryant put on one of the most incredible individual performances in the history of the NBA. In a game against the Toronto Raptors, Bryant scored a stunning 81 points, the second-highest single-game total in the history of the NBA. He hit shots from all over the court, including several contested three-pointers. Bryant’s 81-point game is an iconic moment in Lakers history and cemented his legacy as one of the greatest players ever to play the game.
2020 NBA Championship in the Bubble
In a season heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lakers persevered and captured their 17th NBA championship in 2020. Led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers navigated the unprecedented challenges of the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida, to capture the title. The championship was a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant, who had passed away earlier in the year. The Lakers’ victory in the bubble will be one of the most remarkable moments in franchise history.
The Los Angeles Lakers have provided basketball fans with countless unforgettable moments over the years. From Magic Johnson’s rookie season to the Lakers’ 2020 championship victory in the bubble, these moments have become a part of NBA lore and have cemented the