One of the most iconic shots in the history of the Los Angeles Lakers is Derek Fisher’s ‘0.4’ shot in the 2004 playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs. With only 0.4 seconds remaining and down one point, Gary Payton found Fisher who knocked down the game winner.
Robert Horry is well versed in game winners for the Lakers as he hit more than his fair share of clutch shots for the purple and gold. In this situation however, he was a member of the Spurs and he still believes the Spurs would’ve won the game had Spurs coach Gregg Popovich just listened to him.
Horry appeared on the Road Trippin Podcast with Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye and says that Popovich insisted that he chase Kobe Bryant when he came off a screen (transcription via Alysha Tsuji of USA Today):
“The funny part is if I’d have did what I wanted to do, we would’ve won that game.
So Pop doesn’t like Kobe. He was like, ‘I don’t like him. I don’t want him to hit a game-winner,’ and so he says, ‘Rob, when Kobe comes off, just guard him.’
“I was like, ‘No, you want the ball to go away from the basket.’
Horry would then go on to explain that him chasing Kobe left the spot wide open for Fisher:
“Where I was standing, Kobe comes off, I actually did this, ‘One thousand one, no I shouldn’t do it, (expletive) it, I gotta do what the coach says.’
“So I run over to Kobe, the spot I leave, kicks it right to Fish, Fish catches and turns. I’m looking to Pop the whole time like, ‘See, if you make ’em throw ’em out that way, away from the basket, going this way and turning,’ I’m like, ‘Really?’
“I was just shaking my head, and after that. It was a wrap.”
It definitely sounds like Horry is still pretty salty about that play and with good reason. This play effectively ended the series as the Lakers went on to finish the Spurs off the next game and Horry certainly left an open spot on the floor for Fisher when he denied Kobe.
Regardless, what’s done is done and Fisher’s amazing shot will continue to live on in Lakers, and NBA, lore.