The 2000-2001 regular season was a bit of a disappointment for the Los Angeles Lakers. After dominating to the tune of 67 wins a year prior, the Lakers fell back to 56 wins in 2001 and the second seed in the Western Conference.
The good thing for the Lakers was that they hit their stride right in time for the playoffs, and the rest of the league had to feel their wrath. The Lakers swept through the Western Conference triumvirate of the Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, and San Antonio Spurs.
Awaiting the Lakers in the Finals was Regular Season MVP Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers. Many expected the Lakers to romp through the Sixers, but Iverson shocked the world when he dropped 48 points in a Game 1 Sixer victory in Los Angeles.
But eventually, the Laker’s superiority would take over as Kobe Bryant averaged just under 25 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. Shaquille O’Neal was unstoppable as he averaged 33 points and 16 rebounds on his way to his second consecutive NBA Finals MVP.
After the Game 1 loss, the Lakers would reel off four straight victories, eliminating the Sixers in front of their home fans with a 108-96 victory. The championship was the Laker’s second of three straight titles and remains one of the most dominant playoffs runs in NBA history.