Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Lakers compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Western Conference in the Pacific Division; the Lakers play their home games at Staples Center, an arena shared with the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association, the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League. The Lakers are one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA, have won 16 NBA championships, the second-most behind the Boston Celtics; the franchise began with the 1947 purchase of a disbanded team, the Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League. The new team began calling themselves the Minneapolis Lakers. A member of the NBL, the Lakers won the 1948 NBL championship before joining the rival Basketball Association of America, where they would win five of the next six championships, led by star George Mikan. After struggling financially in the late 1950s following Mikan's retirement, they relocated to Los Angeles before the 1960–61 season.
Led by Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor and Jerry West, Los Angeles made the NBA Finals six times in the 1960s, but lost each series to the Celtics, beginning their long and storied rivalry. In 1968, the Lakers acquired four-time NBA Most Valuable Player Wilt Chamberlain, won their sixth NBA title—and first in Los Angeles—in 1972, led by new head coach Bill Sharman. After the retirement of West and Chamberlain, the team acquired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won multiple MVP awards, but was unable to make the Finals in the late 1970s; the 1980s Lakers were nicknamed "Showtime" due to their fast break-offense led by Magic Johnson. The team won five championships in a nine-year span, contained Hall of Famers Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, was led by Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley. After Abdul-Jabbar and Johnson retired, the team struggled in the early 1990s, before acquiring Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant in 1996. With the duo, who were led by another Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson, the team won three consecutive titles between 2000 to 2002, securing the franchise its second "three-peat".
The Lakers won two more championships in 2009 and 2010, but failed to regain their former glory in the following decade. The Lakers hold the record for NBA's longest winning streak, 33 straight games, set during the 1971–72 season. 21 Hall of Famers have played for Los Angeles. Four Lakers—Abdul-Jabbar, Johnson, O'Neal, Bryant—have won the NBA MVP Award for a total of eight awards; the Lakers' franchise began in 1947 when Ben Berger and Morris Chalfen of Minnesota purchased the disbanded Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League for $15,000 from Gems owner Maury Winston. Minneapolis sportswriter Sid Hartman played a key behind the scenes role in helping put together the deal and the team. Inspired by Minnesota's nickname, "Land of 10,000 Lakes", the team christened themselves the Lakers. Hartman helped them hire John Kundla from College of St. Thomas, to be their first head coach, by meeting with him and selling him on the team; the Lakers had a solid roster, which featured forward Jim Pollard, playmaker Herm Schaefer, center George Mikan, who became the most dominant player in the NBL.
In their first season, they led the league with a 43–17 record winning the NBL Championship that season. In 1948, the Lakers moved from the NBL to the Basketball Association of America, Mikan's 28.3 point per game scoring average set a BAA record. In the 1949 BAA Finals they won the championship; the following season, the team improved to 51–17, repeating as champions. In the 1950–51 season, Mikan won his third straight scoring title at 28.4 ppg and the Lakers went 44–24 to win their second straight division title. One of those games, a 19–18 loss against the Fort Wayne Pistons, became infamous as the lowest scoring game in NBA history. In the playoffs, they defeated the Indianapolis Olympians in three games but lost to the Rochester Royals in the next round. During the 1951 -- 52 season, the Lakers won 40 games, they faced the New York Knicks in the NBA Finals. In the 1952–53 season, Mikan led the NBA in rebounding, averaging 14.4 rebounds per game, was named MVP of the 1953 NBA All-Star Game.
After a 48–22 regular season, the Lakers defeated the Fort Wayne Pistons in the Western playoffs to advance to the NBA Finals. They defeated the New York Knicks to win their second straight championship. Though Lakers star George Mikan suffered from knee problems throughout the 1953–54 season, he was still able to average 18 ppg. Clyde Lovellette, drafted in 1952, helped the team win the Western Division; the team won its third straight championship in the 1950s and fifth in six seasons when it defeated the Syracuse Nationals in seven games. Following Mikan's retirement in the 1954 off-season, the Lakers struggled but still managed to win 40 games. Although they defeated the Rochester Royals in the first round of the playoffs, they were defeated by the Fort Wayne Pistons in the semifinals. Although they had losing records the next two seasons, they made the playoffs each year. Mikan came back for the last half of the 1955–56 season, but struggled and retired for good after the season. Led by Lovellette's 20.6 points and 13.5 rebounds, they advanced to the Conference Finals in 1956–57.
The Lakers had one of the worst seasons in team history in 1957–58 when they won a league-low 19 games. They had hired Mikan, the team's general manager for the previous two seasons, as head coach to replace Kundla. Mikan was fired in January when
New York Knicks
The New York Knickerbockers, more referred to as the Knicks, are an American professional basketball team based in the borough of Manhattan, in New York City. The Knicks compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference; the team plays its home games at Madison Square Garden, an arena they share with the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League. They are one of two NBA teams located in New York City. Alongside the Boston Celtics, the Knicks are one of two original NBA teams still located in its original city; the team, established by Ned Irish in 1946, was one of the founding members of the Basketball Association of America, which became the NBA after merging with the rival National Basketball League in 1949. The Knicks were successful during their early years and were constant playoff contenders under the franchise's first head coach Joe Lapchick. Beginning in 1950, the Knicks made three consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals, all of which were losing efforts.
Lapchick resigned in 1956 and the team subsequently began to falter. It was not until the late 1960s when Red Holzman became head coach that the Knicks began to regain their former dominance. Holzman guided the Knicks to two NBA championships, in 1970 and 1973; the Knicks of the 1980s had mixed success. The playoff-level Knicks of the 1990s were led by future Hall of Fame center Patrick Ewing. During this time, they were known for playing tough defense under head coaches Pat Riley and Jeff Van Gundy, making two appearances in the NBA Finals, in 1994 and 1999. However, they were unable to win an NBA championship during this era. Since 2000, the Knicks have struggled to regain their former glory, but won its first division title in 19 years in 2012–13, led by a core of forwards Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, they were eliminated in the Eastern Conference semi-finals by the Indiana Pacers, have failed to make the playoffs since. In 1946, basketball college basketball, was a growing and profitable sport in New York City.
Hockey generated considerable profits. Max Kase, a New York sportswriter, became the sports editor at the Boston American in the 1930s, when he met Boston Garden owner Walter A. Brown. Kase developed the idea of an organized professional league to showcase college players upon their graduation and felt it could become profitable if properly assembled. Brown, intrigued by the opportunity to attain additional income when the hockey teams were not playing or on the road, contacted several arena owners. On June 6, 1946, Kase and Brown and a group of seventeen others assembled at the Commodore Hotel in New York City, as the Basketball Association of America, where charter franchises were granted to major cities throughout the country. Ned Irish, a college basketball promoter, retired sportswriter and president of Madison Square Garden, was in attendance. Kase planned to own and operate the New York franchise himself and approached Irish with a proposal to lease the Garden. Irish explained that the rules of the Arena Managers Association of America stated that Madison Square Garden was required to own any professional teams that played in the arena.
On the day of the meeting, Kase made his proposal to the panel of owners. Irish wanted a distinct name for his franchise, representative of the city of New York, he called together members of his staff for a meeting to cast their votes in a hat. After tallying the votes, the franchise was named the Knickerbockers; the "Knickerbocker" name comes from the pseudonym used by Washington Irving in his book A History of New York, a name that became applied to the descendants of the original Dutch settlers of what became New York, by extension, to New Yorkers in general. In search of a head coach, Irish approached successful St. John's University coach Joe Lapchick in May 1946. Lapchick accepted after Irish promised to make him the highest paid coach in the league. Irish obliged, hiring former Manhattan College coach Neil Cohalan as interim coach for the first year. With no college draft in the league's initial year, there was no guarantee that the Knicks or the league itself would thrive. Teams focused on signing college players from their respective cities as a way to promote the professional league.
The Knicks held their first training camp in the Catskill Mountains at the Nevele Country Club. Twenty-five players were invited to attend the three-week session. Players worked out twice a day and the chemistry between the New York natives was instant. With a roster assembled, the Knicks faced the Toronto Huskies at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens on November 1, 1946, in what would be the franchise's first game—as well as the first in league history. In a low-scoring affair presented in front of 7,090 spectators, the Knicks defeated the Huskies 68–66 with Leo Gottlieb leading the Knicks in scoring with 14 points. With Madison Square Garden's crowded schedule, the Knicks were forced to play many of their home games at the 69th Regiment Armory during the team's early years; the Knicks went on to finish their inaugural campaign with a 33–27 record and achieved a playoff berth under Cohalan despite a dismal shooting percentage of 28 perce
The Boston Celtics are an American professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. Founded in 1946 as one of the league's original eight teams, the team play their home games at TD Garden, which they share with the National Hockey League's Boston Bruins; the Celtics are one of the most successful teams in NBA history. The Celtics have a notable rivalry with the Los Angeles Lakers, have played the Lakers a record 12 times in the NBA Finals, of which the Celtics have won nine. Four Celtics players have won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award for an NBA record total of 10 MVP awards. Both the nickname "Celtics" and their mascot "Lucky the Leprechaun" are a nod to Boston's large Irish population. After winning 16 championships throughout the 20th century, the Celtics, after struggling through the 1990s, rose again to win a championship in 2008 with the help of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen in what was known as the new "Big Three" era, following the original "Big Three" era that featured Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, which combined to win the 1981, 1984, 1986 championships.
Following the win in 2008, general manager Danny Ainge began a rebuilding process with the help of head coach Brad Stevens, who led the Celtics to a return to the playoffs from 2015. During the following season, the Celtics clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but were eliminated in the Conference Finals; this prompted an aggressive rebuild in 2017, where the team acquired All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. However, the pair struggled with injuries throughout the 2017–18 season, the team was again defeated in the Eastern Conference Finals; the Boston Celtics were formed on June 6, 1946, by Boston Garden-Arena Corporation president Walter A. Brown as a team in the Basketball Association of America, became part of the National Basketball Association after the absorption of the National Basketball League by the BAA in the fall of 1949. In 1950, the Celtics signed Chuck Cooper; the Celtics struggled until the hiring of coach Red Auerbach. In the franchise's early days, Auerbach had no assistants, ran all the practices, did all the scouting—both of opposing teams and college draft prospects—and scheduled all road trips.
One of the first great players to join the Celtics was Bob Cousy, whom Auerbach refused to draft out of nearby Holy Cross because he was "too flashy." Cousy's contract became the property of the Chicago Stags, but when that franchise went bankrupt, Cousy went to the Celtics in a dispersal draft. After the 1955–56 season, Auerbach made a stunning trade, sending perennial All-Star Ed Macauley to the St. Louis Hawks along with the draft rights to Cliff Hagan for the second overall pick in the draft. After negotiating with the Rochester Royals—a negotiation that included a promise that the Celtics owner would send the sought-after Ice Capades to Rochester if the Royals would let Russell slide to #2—Auerbach used the pick to select University of San Francisco center Bill Russell. Auerbach acquired Holy Cross standout, 1957 NBA Rookie of the Year, Tommy Heinsohn. Russell and Heinsohn worked extraordinarily well with Cousy, they were the players around whom Auerbach would build the champion Celtics for more than a decade.
With Bill Russell, the Celtics advanced to the 1957 NBA Finals and defeated the St. Louis Hawks in seven games, the first of a record 17 championships. Russell went on making him the most decorated player in NBA history. In 1958, the Celtics again advanced to this time losing to the Hawks in 6 games. However, with the acquisition of K. C. Jones that year, the Celtics began a dynasty. In 1959, the Celtics won the NBA Championship after sweeping the Minneapolis Lakers, the first of their record eight consecutive championships. During that time, the Celtics met the Lakers in the Finals five times, starting an intense and bitter rivalry that has spanned generations. In 1964, the Celtics became the first NBA team to have an all African-American starting lineup. On December 26, 1964, Willie Naulls replaced an injured Tommy Heinsohn, joining Tom'Satch' Sanders, K. C. Jones, Sam Jones, Bill Russell in the starting lineup; the Celtics defeated St. Louis 97–84. Boston won its next 11 games with Naulls starting in place of Heinsohn.
The Celtics of the late 1950s–1960s are considered as one of the most dominant teams of all time. Auerbach retired as coach after the 1965–66 season and Russell took over as player-coach, Auerbach's ploy to keep Russell interested. With his appointment Russell became the first African-American coach in any U. S. pro sport. Auerbach would remain a position he would hold well into the 1980s. However, the Celtics' string of NBA titles ended when they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1966 Eastern Conference Finals; the aging team managed two more championships in 1968 and 1969, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers each time. Russell retired after the 1969 season ending a Celtics dynasty that had garnered an unrivaled 11 NBA titles in 13 seasons; the team's run of 8 consecutive is the longest championship streak in U. S. professional sports history. The 1970 season was a rebuilding year, as the Celtics had their first losing record since the 1949–50 season
The Utah Jazz are an American professional basketball team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Jazz compete in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the league's Western Conference, Northwest Division. Since 1991, the team has played its home games at Vivint Smart Home Arena; the franchise began play in 1974 as an expansion team based in New Orleans. The Jazz were one of the least successful teams in the league in their early years. Although 10 seasons elapsed before the Jazz qualified for their first playoff appearance in 1984, they did not miss the playoffs again until 2004. During the late 1980s, John Stockton and Karl Malone arose as the franchise players for the team, formed one of the most famed point guard–power forward duos in NBA history. Led by coach Jerry Sloan, who took over from Frank Layden in 1988, they became one of the powerhouse teams of the 1990s, culminating in two NBA Finals appearances in 1997 and 1998, where they lost both times to the Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan.
Both Stockton and Malone moved on in 2003. After missing the playoffs for three consecutive seasons the Jazz returned to prominence under the on-court leadership of point guard Deron Williams. However, partway through the 2010–11 NBA season, the Jazz began restructuring after Sloan's retirement and Williams' trade to the New Jersey Nets. Quin Snyder was hired as head coach in June 2014. On June 7, 1974, the New Orleans Jazz were admitted as an expansion franchise into the National Basketball Association. Team officials selected the name because of its definition in the dictionary: collective improvisation; the team began its inaugural season in New Orleans in the 1974–75 season. The team's first major move was to trade for star player Pete Maravich from the Atlanta Hawks for two first-round draft picks, three second-round picks, one third-round pick over the next three years. Although he was considered one of the most entertaining players in the league and won the scoring championship for the 1976-77 season with 31.1 points per game, the Jazz's best record while in New Orleans was 39–43 in the 1977–78 season.
Maravich struggled with knee injuries from that season onward. Venue issues were a continual problem for the team. In the Jazz's first season, they played in the Municipal Auditorium and Loyola Field House, where the basketball court was raised so high that the NBA Players Association made the team put a net around the court to prevent players from falling off of the court and into the stands; the Jazz played games in the cavernous Louisiana Superdome, but things were no better, because of high demand for the stadium, onerous lease terms, Maravich's constant knee problems. They faced the prospect of spending a whole month on the road each year because of New Orleans' Mardi Gras festivities, similar to the long road trip faced by the San Antonio Spurs each season during their city's rodeo. Years founding owner Sam Battistone claimed that there was no contingency plan in case the Jazz had qualified for the playoffs. However, the Superdome's manager at the time, Bill Curl, said that the stadium's management always submitted a list of potential playoff dates to the Jazz management, but these letters were never answered.
After what turned out to be their final season in New Orleans, the Jazz were dealt a further humiliation when the Los Angeles Lakers selected Magic Johnson with the first overall pick in the 1979 NBA draft. The pick would have been the Jazz's had they not traded it to acquire Gail Goodrich two years earlier; the Jazz had given up the rights to Moses Malone in order to regain one of the three first-round picks used for the Goodrich trade. Despite being competitive, the Jazz drew well during their first five years. However, by 1979 the franchise was sinking financially. Barry Mendelson, the team's executive vice president for most of the early years, said one factor in the financial trouble was an 11-percent amusement tax, highest in the U. S. at the time. The team could not attract much local corporate support—an important factor in those days—or local investors. Battistone decided to move it. After scouting several new homes, he decided on Salt Lake City though it was a smaller market. Salt Lake City had been home to the Utah Stars of the American Basketball Association from 1970 to 1976.
The Stars had been popular in the city and had won an ABA title in their first season after moving from Los Angeles. However, their finances collapsed in their last two seasons, they were shut down by the league 16 games into the 1975–76 season after missing payroll. Although Salt Lake City was not known for its jazz culture, the team decided to keep the name, as there was not enough time before the start of the 1979–80 season to receive league approval for a name change; the Jazz preserved the original Mardi Gras-themed colors: green and gold. The Jazz's attendance declined after the team's move from New Orleans to Utah because of a late approval for the move and poor marketing in the Salt Lake City area; the team's management made the first of several moves in 1979, bringing high-scoring forward Adrian Dantley to Utah in exchange for Spencer Haywood. Dantley averaged 28 points per game during the 1979–80 season, allowing the team to waive Pete Maravich early in
Colorado is a state of the Western United States encompassing most of the southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. It is the 8th most extensive and 21st most populous U. S. state. The estimated population of Colorado was 5,695,564 on July 1, 2018, an increase of 13.25% since the 2010 United States Census. The state was named for the Colorado River, which early Spanish explorers named the Río Colorado for the ruddy silt the river carried from the mountains; the Territory of Colorado was organized on February 28, 1861, on August 1, 1876, U. S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed Proclamation 230 admitting Colorado to the Union as the 38th state. Colorado is nicknamed the "Centennial State" because it became a state one century after the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence. Colorado is bordered by Wyoming to the north, Nebraska to the northeast, Kansas to the east, Oklahoma to the southeast, New Mexico to the south, Utah to the west, touches Arizona to the southwest at the Four Corners.
Colorado is noted for its vivid landscape of mountains, high plains, canyons, plateaus and desert lands. Colorado is part of the western and southwestern United States, is one of the Mountain States. Denver is most populous city of Colorado. Residents of the state are known as Coloradans, although the antiquated term "Coloradoan" is used. Colorado is notable for its diverse geography, which includes alpine mountains, high plains, deserts with huge sand dunes, deep canyons. In 1861, the United States Congress defined the boundaries of the new Territory of Colorado by lines of latitude and longitude, stretching from 37°N to 41°N latitude, from 102°02'48"W to 109°02'48"W longitude. After 158 years of government surveys, the borders of Colorado are now defined by 697 boundary markers and 697 straight boundary lines. Colorado and Utah are the only states that have their borders defined by straight boundary lines with no natural features; the southwest corner of Colorado is the Four Corners Monument at 36°59'56"N, 109°2'43"W.
This is the only place in the United States where four states meet: Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The summit of Mount Elbert at 14,440 feet elevation in Lake County is the highest point in Colorado and the Rocky Mountains of North America. Colorado is the only U. S. state that lies above 1,000 meters elevation. The point where the Arikaree River flows out of Yuma County and into Cheyenne County, Kansas, is the lowest point in Colorado at 3,317 feet elevation; this point, which holds the distinction of being the highest low elevation point of any state, is higher than the high elevation points of 18 states and the District of Columbia. A little less than half of Colorado is flat and rolling land. East of the Rocky Mountains are the Colorado Eastern Plains of the High Plains, the section of the Great Plains within Nebraska at elevations ranging from 3,350 to 7,500 feet; the Colorado plains are prairies but include deciduous forests and canyons. Precipitation averages 15 to 25 inches annually. Eastern Colorado is presently farmland and rangeland, along with small farming villages and towns.
Corn, hay and oats are all typical crops. Most villages and towns in this region boast both a grain elevator. Irrigation water is available from subterranean sources. Surface water sources include the South Platte, the Arkansas River, a few other streams. Subterranean water is accessed through artesian wells. Heavy use of wells for irrigation caused underground water reserves to decline. Eastern Colorado hosts considerable livestock, such as hog farms. 70% of Colorado's population resides along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains in the Front Range Urban Corridor between Cheyenne and Pueblo, Colorado. This region is protected from prevailing storms that blow in from the Pacific Ocean region by the high Rockies in the middle of Colorado; the "Front Range" includes Denver, Fort Collins, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and other townships and municipalities in between. On the other side of the Rockies, the significant population centers in Western Colorado are the cities of Grand Junction and Montrose.
The Continental Divide of the Americas extends along the crest of the Rocky Mountains. The area of Colorado to the west of the Continental Divide is called the Western Slope of Colorado. West of the Continental Divide, water flows to the southwest via the Colorado River and the Green River into the Gulf of California. Within the interior of the Rocky Mountains are several large parks which are high broad basins. In the north, on the east side of the Continental Divide is the North Park of Colorado; the North Park is drained by the North Platte River, which flows north into Nebraska. Just to the south of North Park, but on the western side of the Continental Divide, is the Middle Park of Colorado, drained by the Colorado River; the South Park of Colorado is the region of the headwaters of the South Platte River. In southmost Colorado is the large San Luis Valley, where the headwaters of the Rio Grande are located; the valley sits between the Sangre De Cristo Mountains and San Juan Mountains, consists of large desert lands that run into the mountains.
The Rio Grande drains due south into New Mexico and Texas. Across the Sangre de Cristo Range to the east of the S
Robert Keith Horry is an American retired basketball player and current sports commentator. He played 16 seasons in the National Basketball Association, winning seven championships, the most of any player not to have played on the 1960s Boston Celtics, he is one of only two players to have won NBA championships with three teams: two with the Houston Rockets, three with the Los Angeles Lakers and two with the San Antonio Spurs. He earned the nickname Big Shot Rob because of his clutch shooting in important games. Horry now works as a commentator on Spectrum SportsNet. Robert Horry was born in Maryland. Horry grew up in Alabama; when Robert Sr. was stationed at Fort Benning, the father and son met weekly. As a senior at Andalusia High School, Horry won the Naismith Alabama High School Player of the Year award. At the University of Alabama, he played basketball for Coach Wimp Sanderson, he was a teammate of fellow future NBA player Latrell Sprewell. At Alabama, Horry started 108 of the 133 games he played and helped the Tide win three SEC tournament titles and twice reached the NCAA's Sweet 16 round.
Alabama compiled a 98-36 record during his four seasons. He was selected to the All-Southeastern Conference, the SEC All-Defensive and the SEC All-Academic teams. Horry was selected 11th overall in the 1992 NBA draft by the Houston Rockets as a small forward, he spent his first four seasons with the Rockets, helping them win the NBA Championship in 1994 and 1995. While in the Finals, Horry set an individual NBA Finals record with seven steals in a game and hit five 3-pointers in a quarter. During his years with the Rockets, Horry wore number 25. In February 1994, he and Matt Bullard were traded to the Detroit Pistons for Sean Elliott, but Elliott failed a physical because of kidney problems, the trade was rescinded. Horry said that the trade falling through saved his career. Horry went on to be a key member of the Rockets' title teams and began to lay the foundations for his "Big Shot Rob" reputation with a game-winning jumper with 6.5 seconds left in Game 1 of the 1995 Western Conference Finals vs. the San Antonio Spurs and hitting a 3 to put Houston up 104–100 with 14.1 seconds left in a 106–103 win in Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Orlando Magic.
Following the victory at the 1995 NBA Finals and the Rockets would win their second NBA Championship. Horry said that out of his 7 championship victories, this was the one he was the most proud of because the Rockets were the 6th seed in the Western Conference. On August 19, 1996, Horry was traded to the Phoenix Suns along with Sam Cassell, Chucky Brown and Mark Bryant for former NBA Most Valuable Player Charles Barkley. Horry had been criticized in Houston for not taking enough shots and felt, what prompted the Rockets to trade him. After joining the Suns, Horry had an on-court altercation with coach Danny Ainge, during which Horry threw a towel at Ainge; the incident with Ainge led to Horry's suspension and trade to the Los Angeles Lakers on January 10, 1997, for Cedric Ceballos. Because the Lakers had retired jersey number 25 to honor Gail Goodrich, Horry wore the number 5 instead. During the 1999–2000 season, Horry played behind A. C. Green but garnered more minutes off the bench than the starters during the playoffs.
In the 2000 Finals against the Indiana Pacers, the Lakers took a 2–1 lead into Game 4 in Indiana. The game went into overtime. Shaquille O'Neal fouled out. Horry finished with 17 points in 37 minutes, his high for the Finals, won his third championship as the Lakers defeated the Pacers 4 games to 2. Horry averaged 5.4 rebounds in 27 minutes per game throughout the 2000 playoffs. In the 2000–01 season, Horry played behind Horace Grant but once again played big minutes in the playoffs, he played in 16 of Lakers 2001 playoffs games. In the Finals against the Philadelphia 76ers, the Lakers dropped Game 1 before winning Game 2. In Game 3 in Philadelphia, Horry scored 12 of his 15 points in the 4th quarter, including a critical three pointer with 47.1 seconds left in the fourth quarter to make it 92–88, followed by making 1 of 2 free throws with 21 seconds left to help seal a 96–91 Laker victory. In Game 4, Horry made 3 of the Lakers 10 total three-pointers as the Lakers rolled to a 100–86 victory; the Lakers won Game 5 108–96 to clinch their second straight championship.
In the 2001–02 season, Horry was the backup power forward to Samaki Walker, although he started in 23 games. In the playoffs, Horry started 14 of the Lakers' 19 games playing an average of 37 minutes a game with averages of 9.3 points and 8.1 rebounds a game. Horry's reputation for clutch play was elevated in Game 4 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals against the Sacramento Kings. Trailing two games to one in the series and facing Game 5 in Sacramento, the Lakers were down by as many as 24 points in the first half; the Lakers cut the lead to 99–97 with 11.8 seconds to play. On the final possession, after Kobe and Shaq missed consecutive layups, Sacramento center Vlade Divac knocked the ball away from the basket in an attempt to run out the clock. However, the ball bounced right to Horry, who hit a 3-pointer as time expired to win Game 4 100–99. A day Magic Johnson said Horry was "one of the 10 best clutch players in league history"; the Lakers would win the series in 7 games and swept the New Jersey
2007–08 Boston Celtics season
The 2007–08 Boston Celtics season was the 62nd season of the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association. This marked the season powered by the acquisitions of perennial All-Stars Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in the offseason, the Celtics finished with a record of 66–16 and posted the best single-season turnaround in NBA history, they finished first in both the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference, achieved the league's best record. The 66 wins were the third-most in franchise history, behind the 1972–73 Celtics’ 68 wins and the famous 1985–86 Celtics’ 67 wins including 40 at home. Kevin Garnett was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year, while Danny Ainge, who executed "the most dramatic NBA turnaround ever", was named NBA Executive of the Year; the Celtics sold out all 41 regular-season home games. Their two-year absence from the playoffs came to an end as they met the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the 2008 NBA Playoffs, they advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1987, where they met the Los Angeles Lakers, reigniting their storied rivalry.
The Celtics won 4–2, capturing their first championship since 1986, seventeenth in franchise history, the most in NBA history. However, they had a far more difficult path to this championship, playing 26 games, the most any team had played in a post-season. June 28: The 2007 NBA draft took place in New York City. July 1: The free agency period started. July 31: Acquired perennial All-Star Kevin Garnett. October 6: The pre-season started with a game against the Toronto Raptors in Rome as part of the 2007 NBA Europe Live Tour. November 2: The regular season started with a game against the Washington Wizards. December 27: Matched their victory total of the previous season with a win against the Seattle SuperSonics. March 5: First team to clinch a playoff berth for the 2008 NBA Playoffs. March 10: Won 50 games in a season for the first time since 1991–92 with a win against the Philadelphia 76ers. March 14: Clinched the Atlantic Division title despite a loss to the Utah Jazz. March 18: Ended the 3rd longest winning streak in NBA history with a win against the Houston Rockets.
March 28: Matched the number of wins of the previous two season combined with a win against the New Orleans Hornets. April 2: Won sixty games in a season for the first time since 1985–86 with a win against the Indiana Pacers. April 5: Clinched the best record in the Eastern Conference, home-court advantage throughout the 2008 Playoffs, with a win against the New Orleans Hornets. April 16: The regular season concluded with a game against the Brooklyn Nets. May 4: Advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals with a win in Game 7 of the First Round against the Atlanta Hawks. May 18: Advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals with a win in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. May 30: Advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1987 with a win in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Detroit Pistons. June 17: Captured their 17th NBA Championship with a win in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. Paul Pierce was named the Finals MVP.
On May 22, the Celtics were assigned the 5th overall selection in the NBA Draft Lottery losing their chance of drafting either Greg Oden or Kevin Durant, who both were considered to go 1st and 2nd in the draft. The 5th pick was the worst-case scenario for the Celtics, who had a 19.9% chance of obtaining the 1st overall selection. However, on June 28, the day of the 2007 NBA draft, the Celtics traded the 5th pick along with Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West to the Seattle SuperSonics in exchange for All-Star 3-point specialist Ray Allen and the 35th overall selection prior to the event, with the 5th pick selected forward Jeff Green for Seattle. In the second round of the draft, the Celtics selected guard Gabe Pruitt with the 32nd pick, their own, forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis with the 35th pick obtained from Seattle. On July 31, the Celtics traded for 10-time All-Star and 2004 MVP Kevin Garnett in the single largest trade for one player in NBA history, he was acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Theo Ratliff, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, Boston's 2009 first-round draft pick, the return of Minnesota's conditional first-round draft pick obtained in the 2006 Ricky Davis–Wally Szczerbiak trade and cash considerations.
By adding Garnett to All-Stars Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, the trade brought a new era of relevance to the long-struggling franchise, but it left the roster short-handed. The Garnett trade left the roster depleted and depth became an immediate concern; the Celtics signed guards Eddie House and Jackie Manuel on August 1, just two days after the Garnett trade, center Scot Pollard on August 9. Ainge called and asked 5-time All-Star Reggie Miller to return from his 2-year retirement and join the roster in a reserve role. Miller considered the possibility of playing alongside Garnett, but announced on August 23 that he would not join the Celtics. On August 27, forward James Posey signed with the team and was considered a decisive signing which gave the Celtics a drastic improvement to their bench. On September 26, center Esteban Batista and guard Dahntay Jones signed non-guaranteed contracts with the Celtics, two days before the beginning of training camp and the team's departure to Rome for the 2007 NBA Europe Live Tour.
Curiously, Jones was involved in a trade back in the 2003 NBA draft, in which the Celtics drafted him with the 20th overall selection, but traded him with the 16th pick, Troy Bell, to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for the 1