Throughout their illustrious franchise history, the Los Angeles Lakers have had many defining moments that set the stage for championship memories. During the championship runs in the early 2000s, the dynamic duo of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal were often guided by their role players, with Rick Fox, Derek Fisher, and Robert Horry stepping up countless times.
Friday brought forth the anniversary of Horry’s Game 4 buzzer-beater against the Sacramento Kings during the 2002 Western Conference Finals. Horry’s shot, via a batted ball from current Kings general manager Vlade Divac, tied the series 2-2 and shifted all momentum back towards Los Angeles.
The Alabama native sat down for an interview with Marcos Breton of the Sacramento Bee, discussing the impact of the shot.
During the interview, Horry stated that people still bring up the significance of that shot, which ripped out the heart of Kings fans everywhere:
“I’ve had people tell me that was the most devastating moment in Sacramento,” said Horry, the former L.A. Lakers power forward, on the phone Thursday from Houston where he lives. “I started laughing when I heard that. It was just a shot.”
Basketball aficionados agree that the 2002 Kings team is one of the best teams never to win a championship, led by All-Star Chris Webber and electric point guard Mike Bibby. If that shot didn’t fall in, the Kings would have taken a commanding 3-1 series lead and were slated to reach the 2002 NBA Finals.
Perhaps no player has been more clutch in playoff history than Horry, earning the nickname of ‘Big Shot Bob.’ Horry captured seven NBA championships during his 16-year career, earning a reputation as one of the premiere shot makers.
Although Horry is now retired and enjoying life, he hopes people don’t resent him for making that shot, as a premiere moment in NBA history:
“I hope that people don’t hate me as a person or a player,” he said. “It was a great moment in the history of the NBA, even though you just happened to be on that bad end of it. … I was just doing my job.”
Horry held averages of 7.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists during his 16-year career, shooting 42.5 percent from the field and 34.1 percent from three-point range.