In evaluating and ranking the top all-time Los Angeles Lakers bench players, though with the caveat of not looking back any further than the 1980s, it’s easier to see why Robert Horry checks in at No. 2.
To understand what Horry brought off the bench, just remember that he won seven NBA championships, and three of those were with the Lakers. Horry was with the team from 1997-2003.
It was during the glory days of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant that Horry showed just how much of an asset he could be in the playoffs, earning the nickname, “Big Shot Bob.”
Horry’s list of clutch moments is endless, and evident by him making a game-clinching 3-pointer in at least one game for four straight playoff series.
In the 2000 playoff run, Horry averaged 7.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in 23 games. The next season, he averaged 5.9 points coming off the bench and delivered key buckets to seal important wins over the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Finals.
During the Lakers quest for a three-peat, Horry was pressed into a starting role. He actually started 14 of the 19 playoff games in the 2002 playoffs. He memorably rose to the occasion in an epic battle with the Sacramento Kings in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals.
Trailing the Kings, 2-1, in the series, the Lakers were down 99-97 with 11.8 seconds remaining. As Los Angeles was looking to avoid a calamitous 3-1 deficit, both Bryant and O’Neal missed their shots to tie the game, but when a loose was tipped out to Horry, he drilled the three to give the Lakers the 100-99 win.
The Lakers went on to win the series and then defeated the New Jersey Nets to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy for the third time in as many years.
Robert Horry’s ability to deliver time and time again on the biggest stage in basketball is why he is one of the greatest Lakers bench players of all time.
Top Lakers bench players