Late last year, Spectrum SportsNet debuted “Birth of a Dynasty,” a four-part series that highlighted the accomplishments and struggles of the Los Angeles Lakers during the 1999-2000 NBA season.
It of course marked the start of their three-peat era, led by head coach Phil Jackson, Shaquille O’Neal and the late Kobe Bryant. Spectrum SportsNet’s series included behind-the-scenes stories from unforgettable games and moments that crowned the Lakers champions for the first time since 1988,
“Birth of a Dynasty” also featured rare and unseen archival footage with Chick Hearn and Dr. Jerry Buss, as well as interviews with Bryant, O’Neal and several other players from the championship team.
Beginning at 10 a.m. PT on Saturday, May 2, Spectrum SportsNet will re-air the entire “Birth of a Dynasty” series. Included below is a synopsis of each episode.
Birth of a Dynasty
Episode 1 (“New Beginnings”) The 1999-2000 offseason marked a time of significant change for the Lakers, defined by the hiring of Phil Jackson and the move from the beloved Forum into brand new Staples Center. It also started with a setback of a Kobe Bryant hand injury. These were many factors of an eager team searching for its first title in over a decade.
Episode 2 (“An MVP Season Behind Superman”): Motivated by Phil Jackson to control the game on both offense and defense, Shaquille O’Neal’s renewed focus and dedication took his game to new heights, resulting with his first MVP Award. The Lakers barreled their way towards one of the best regular seasons in franchise history, but questions remained about their playoff experience.
Episode 3 (“Brink of Elimination”): The playoff run included a gritty series win over the Sacramento Kings in the first round, and a hard-fought Western Conference Finals between the Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers. With a trip to the NBA Finals on the line, the Lakers rallied after trailing by as many as 15 points late in the game.
Episode 4 (“The Comeback to Champions”): After completing one of the greatest fourth quarter comebacks in NBA history, the Lakers prevailed in the NBA Finals over the Indiana Pacers in six games, with a monumental celebration outside Staples Center.
Kobe Bryant missed Game 3 due to a sprained ankle but made a quick recovery and helped lead the Lakers to a pivotal win in Game 4 when Shaquille O’Neal fouled out.