Sam Perkins – The Unlucky Horry: 3 Teams, 3 NBA Finals, 0 Rings

David Astramskas, David AstramskasAbout the Author
Aka VincentDa & RedApples fka Expiredpineapples. My alter-ego is a digital-marketing guy in Houston. Won editing awards & created obsolete flash websites that have been featured in mags like Sports Illustrated. Studied film & women at FSU during the golden age of hip-hop. Collects records, laserdiscs, sports memorabilia & toys. Father of 2 daughters that are more athletic and popular on YouTube.

| June 14th, 2015 | 1,324 Views

Long before Dirk put on a Mavs uni and was showing that big men could be a 3-point shooting threat, 6’9 Sleepy Sam Perkins aka The Big Smooth was wearing a Mavs uni and burying 3’s on opponents.

Sam is probably mostly known for being a college great at UNC and for hitting a big shot against former UNC teammate Michael Jordan in GM1 of the 1991 NBA Finals as a member of the Lakers.

Unfortunately for Sleepy Sam aka Big Shot Sam, that shot woke up Jordan and the Bulls. MJ then scored 40+ in 4 consecutive games and the Bulls became the 1991 NBA champions.


Sam would be traded to the Sonics a couple seasons later and in 1996 got another shot at winning a title against Jordan when the Sonics faced off against the 72-10 Bulls. But once again Jordan would prove to be too much for Perkins and his teammates and the Bulls came out victorious. Ring #4 for MJ and 0-2 in the Finals for Perkins.


Sam played a couple more years with the Sonics, then signed as a free agent with the Pacers during Jordan’s 2nd retirement. The deep Pacers team made it to the 2000 NBA Finals since there wasn’t a MJ to deal with in the East but this led to a date with MVP Shaquille O’Neal who ended up putting up Michael Jordan worthy numbers in the Finals.  The Lakers won the championship and Perkins was now 0-3 in the Finals.


Perkins retired after the next season without ever winning a ring and unfairly earning the nickname of “The Unlucky Horry.”

Well at least Perkins can say he was a two time NCAA champion, a lottery pick and in my book, a pretty underrated-before-his-time player.


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