(Republished from March 14, 2014)
When the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs met in the 2001 Western Conference Finals, it was expected to be a showdown of epic proportions.
Not only did the teams boast the two best records in the NBA, but they also represented the last two NBA champions, with Spurs winning in 1999 and the Lakers, the defending champions.
Unfortunately for the Spurs, there was no denying the Lakers during their 2001 championship run. The Lakers continued their dominant run through the Western Conference with a shocking sweep of the top-seeded Spurs.
What was most surprising about this series was how easily the Lakers dispatched of the Spurs. The Lakers won the four games by an average of more than 22 points, including wins of 39 and 29 points in Games 3 and 4.
While Shaquille O’Neal was the dominant force he always was, it was Kobe Bryant who led the way through this series. Bryant submitted an amazing all-around performance with averages of 33 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists.
The Lakers 2001 championship run will forever be remembered as one of the most dominant of all-time, with only one loss through the entire playoffs. But it was this series against the Spurs that really proved how great this Lakers team was.
The Lakers and Spurs were the two most dominant franchises of the 2000s, but the Lakers sent a resounding message as to who owned the league at that time.