The Top 10 Moments of the Phil Jackson Era

Moment #2: Portland can get out the bottled water

It’s amazing how much can change in the course of 12 minutes. This was proven in the seventh game of the 2000 Western Conference Finals between the Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Lakers seemed poised for one of the most disappointing collapses in NBA history as they trailed Portland by 15 points in the fourth quarter of Game 7. Then in almost the blink of an eye, the Lakers made a historic comeback.

The Lakers erased the lead with a 15-0 run in the fourth quarter, highlighted by a few clutch threes from Brian Shaw. The Lakers took the lead eventually and the roof blew off of the Staples Center, the only thing missing was a signature play to top it off.

Up by four with 45 seconds remaining, Kobe Bryant advanced the ball up court. Then history happened as Bryant found Shaq for the most memorable alley-oop in Lakers history. After that alley-oop Portland’s season was basically over while the Lakers’ dynasty had just began.

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_ikaIDz-Ck

The game showed the greatness in Jackson as he remained calm through the Lakers’ struggles, never panicking. Jackson had delivered in year one as many great times were ahead of us.

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Moment #1: The Lakers win ugly against Boston

The 2010 finals couldn’t have been written any better. From the east you had the 2008 champions who had never lost a series with Kevin Garnett, out west you had the defending champs. And oh yeah, these two teams have a bit of a history against each other.

This chapter of the Lakers-Celtics rivalry did not fail to disappoint as the two teams fought one another to a decisive Game 7. As they say there is nothing like one game with all of the marbles on the line.

In an ugly game the Lakers showed the toughness and defense that had failed them in 2008 against the Celtics. Despite a 13-point deficit and a poor shooting night from Kobe, the Lakers were able to ultimately stave off their bitter rivals in a thrilling 83-79 victory.

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfaxusuEIcI

For Jackson this was his 11th championship, a mark that will likely never be touched, for his team it was redemption from the embarrassment they had felt two years ago. This may be Jackson’s greatest moment with the Lakers because of the importance of the game and who it was against.

The disappointment over this year’s playoffs will pain anyone who loves the Lakers for some time. Many wish that Jackson could have had a thrilling end to his career to match some of his and the Lakers’ finest moments in this era. Despite the disappointment, I think all of Lakers Nation can agree with me when I say this: Thanks for the memories Phil!

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