Seven-time NBA champion Robert Horry spent some time with Lakers Nation recently to talk about the partnership between the Los Angeles Lakers and Pepsi to come up with a new anthem for the storied franchise. This partnership will allow diehard Lakers fans to show their love for the team by submitting one of three things with the hashtag #LakersFamily.
Along with talking about the partnership between Pepsi and the Lakers, Horry spoke about the current squad, the Kyle Lowry trade that almost happened, his favorite Lakers moments and whether he believes he’s a Hall of Famer.
Tell us a little bit about the Lakers/Pepsi partnership to create a new Lakers anthem.
“This is going to be fun. Any fan, any person out there, can celebrate the Lakers and Pepsi by going #LakersFamily and submit a video to be a part of this anthem. The thing about this is they’re going to create a new Lakers anthem that anybody can be involved in.
“If you submit something and you get chosen, you can be on the Lakers anthem. Think about this. This can last for a lifetime unless someone else comes around like me and want to use my voice singing the anthem, but this is a great thing.
“It’s a great way to celebrate, and we want to hear from our fans. We want to hear them come out and support the Lakers and support Pepsi and come up with a new anthem.”
What is your favorite Lakers moment ever? One that you were involved in and another that you weren’t involved in?
“For me from a team aspect, I think it’s being up on that stage and having the fans come out and celebrate that championship in 2000. Having the fans come out outside a brand new building, brand new coach. It was just a wonderful feeling because everything else was done at the Forum. It was the old glory days of the Lakers. Now we had a new building, a new team and a new coach.
“Just looking at the abundance of fans that came out to help celebrate that championship made me feel like I was finally part of a franchise that was so historic because you can play in a Laker uniform, but until you win a championship, my personal opinion, that cements you as a Laker for life.
“And I think there was a shot I made at one point that was kind of like one of my favorite Laker moments (laughs). That’s sort of selfish in that one (laughs).
“As far as great Laker moments outside, this is weird because the Lakers moment that stands out the most to me. I think I was a freshman in college, and I was watching the Lakers playing the [Chicago] Bulls in the [NBA] Finals, and I just knew the Lakers were going to win that.
“When Magic [Johnson] went up and pulled his hamstring, I started yelling like, ‘Noooo! We’re not going to win now.’ Because I was a huge Laker fan, a huge Magic Johnson fan, so that’s like a moment that stands out to me. It’s a bad moment, but that’s one of the Laker moments that stands out to me when Magic pulled his hamstring.”
Have you been surprised how this weird season has gone with COVID, injuries and the crazy schedule?
“You know what I’m surprised about the most is that the Lakers hadn’t had a breakout of COVID and had to miss a game because if you think about it, we’re in one of the largest cities in the country. That lets you know how dedicated the players are and how they’re following the rules and trying to make sure the safety protocols are applied not just during the time they’re with the team but when they’re at home, and that’s key.
“And then all the injuries with AD and his calf/Achilles. LeBron [James] getting rolled up on. The in and out of [Marc] Gasol and the new addition of Andre Drummond. It’s been a crazy season, but I’m excited now that the fans are back. The players are coming back one by one, and it’s the right time because you’re going to need all of this to push for another championship going down the stretch.”
What do you think their chances of repeating are at this point? Which team in the West do you think is going to be their toughest challenge?
“It’s weird. I was going to say Denver because it was trending the right way, but with Jamal Murray out for the season, I don’t know what’s going to happen with that. But I think it’s always going to be the guys in the locker room right over from the Lakers locker room.
“It’s going to be the [Los Angeles] Clippers because when you got someone like Paul George who’s playing extremely well right now and Kawhi [Leonard] is a playoff-type of guy, and they got some great additions. I think it’s going to be instrumental for the Lakers to get healthy and start trending in the right direction by getting together and playing and practicing and knowing new additions in Andre Drummond and learning how to play well together because if not, the Clippers are going to be right there to dethrone them.
“That other team in Utah is looking good, too. I still think the championship runs through the Lakers.”
I was going to say you’re not buying the hype with the Jazz, huh?
“I think the Jazz are good, but every team, if you look at the history of basketball, it has always been teams that have other team’s numbers. If you look at the years the Seattle Supersonics were No.1, Denver got them. You look at when the San Antonio Spurs were No. 1. Phoenix got them one time and also Golden State.
“There are certain teams you just matchup well with, and I think when you go to Utah, think about it, the Lakers matchup really well against Utah. I know the last game doesn’t show that when they had LeBron [James] and AD out, but they matchup very well them, and it’s usually going to hang in the Lakers’ favor.”
What do you think of the impact of Dennis Schroder so far, and do you think not trading for Kyle Lowry was a mistake?
“I don’t think they made a mistake not trading for Kyle Lowry. I love Kyle Lowry as a player. He would’ve been a great addition, but then that means he would’ve taken away from Dennis Schroder’s minutes. You would’ve got rid of a really good young guy in THT, and whoever else would’ve been in that package.
“From what I hear, we all just have to speculate because we’re not [Rob] Pelinka. They said they wanted THT, and you don’t want to get rid of THT. If you watch him play, he’s getting better and better with each year. He’s not even old enough to buy alcohol right now (laughs). He’s 20 years old; he’s got a long way to go, man. And Kyle Lowry only has like three years or two years left to play at a high level, so I don’t think they made a mistake at all.
“I think Dennis Schroder shows you what he can do when he doesn’t have LeBron or AD. I just think that he is a great addition to the team. He does so many things that don’t show up in the stat sheet, especially defensively, picking up guys full court and making them work. People who don’t play basketball (laughs), I don’t think they understand how hard that is to pick someone up full court chasing them around the court for 40 minutes a game.”
Are you a Hall of Famer?
“If you look at the people that are in, I deserve to be in. If you look at the people who aren’t in, I don’t deserve to be in.
“For me, I’ll be happy if I do, and I’ll be happy if I don’t because basketball is a team sport. If I was a tennis player and I didn’t get in the Hall of Fame for tennis, then I’d be really upset, but for me, it’s a team sport.
“If the Hall of Fame comes calling one day, I’ll be proud. If it doesn’t, so be it. I know one thing, half those guys in there don’t have what I have, and that’s seven rings.”
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