One of the main reasons the Los Angeles Lakers won three straight NBA titles in the Kobe-Shaq era was due to the clutch shooting of veteran forward Robert Horry. On more than one occasion, Horry helped lift the Lakers to victory with a game-winning shot in the most crucial moments during the postseason.
Although Horry wasn’t the most versatile or athletic forward, the veteran was invaluable to the Lakers during their championship runs. Unfortunately, even though he helped the team win three straight titles, he wasn’t happy about the way his stint ended in Los Angeles.
Horry said the following about the end of his time with the Lakers in an article he wrote for The Players’ Tribune:
However, as dominant as we were in that three-peat run, I feel we could’ve done more if it weren’t for egos and complacency. Honestly, I left the Lakers with so much hatred for that team. I felt that the way they handled my situation was so wrong. I remember going into the exit meetings after we had won the title and it was my year to opt out. You walk into the meeting and everyone is hugging you, kissing you, praising you.
Horry talked about the Lakers being intent on pursuing Karl Malone in free agency and wanting the team to shoot him straight rather than draw out the process. Although Horry was willing to take a discount to stay, the team ultimately released him about as close to the deadline as possible:
I told them I’d stay for $2 million, but they weren’t interested. All I asked them was to allow me to find a team before the money dried up and not to wait until the last day to release me. They told me, “We won’t do you like that.”
Well, they didn’t do me like that. They waited until the next to last day to release me.
Despite a somewhat ugly divorce with the Lakers, Horry continued to do what he did throughout his entire career by continuing to win championships. Horry signed with the San Antonio Spurs in the summer of 2003 and went on to win two more titles increasing his total to seven.
Horry eventually retired after following the 2007-08 NBA season with the Spurs. The former Laker remains one of the most successful role players in NBA history winning two or more championships with three different teams.[divide]