Kobe Bryant had 26 points, 12 boards and 6 assists. Rick Fox had 20 points on 5-of-8 shooting to go with 6 boards and 6 assists. Shaq had 29 points, 13 boards, 5 blocks and about 10 elbows to the face of Dikembe Mutombo in the fifth and final game of the 2001 NBA Finals.
On a recent episode of The Big Podcast with Shaq, the 2001 Finals MVP complained this team never gets brought up in GOAT team arguments and he has a valid point. They breezed through the playoffs — which included stops in Portland, Sacramento and San Antonio — and finished with a 15-1 record. The following year they completed a three-peat by sweeping the New Jersey Nets. Besides their impressive success over the three Championship seasons, what makes them so worthy of being mentioned with the mid-90s Bulls and current Golden State Warriors is they had the MDE in his prime, the best shooting guard in the league and a bunch of talented role players who understood their roles. I know this is the type of “get off my lawn” talk youngsters hate to hear but me, Shaq, Kobe and everybody over 30 would put their house mortgage money on these Lakers over the current Warriors.
FULL GAME 5