Los Angeles Lakers: Revisiting the career of Glen Rice

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

We take a look back at Glen Rice’s tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers.

It was the year 1999 and the Los Angeles Lakers were in search of their first title since 1988. General Manager Jerry West decided trading for All-Star Glen Rice would get them over the top.

The Lakers acquired Rice for Eddie Jones and Elden Campbell in the middle of the lockout season on March 10th.

The move was questioned by many Lakers fans as they loved Eddie Jones. The wing had made the All-Star game in two straight seasons. Had Lakers fans knew the imminent success the team would have they would’ve understood.

Most fans just didn’t understand how great Glen Rice was. Rice had made three straight All-Star games (1996-98) and was an incredible shooter. Rice even led the league in 3-point percentage (47 percent) in 1997. That season he averaged an astounding 26.8 points and four rebounds.

In Rice’s first season with the Lakers, he averaged 17.5 points on 39 percent from deep as the third option to Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. That season didn’t go as planned for the Lakers as they were swept by the champion San Antonio Spurs in the first round. Rice did average 18.3 points in the series.

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The 1999-2000 season, Rice’s first full season with the Lakers, went exactly as planned. The Lakers went a league-best 67-15 that season. Rice averaged 15.9 points on 37 percent from deep.

Heading into the playoffs the Lakers were the favorites to win it all and they did just that. It wasn’t easy as the Lakers had an improbable comeback in game seven against Portland in the Conference Finals. The Lakers trailed that game by 15 heading into the fourth quarter. You redo that game 100 times and the Lakers probably lose it 95 times at the very least.

The NBA Finals were more manageable as they beat the Indiana Pacers in six games. The Lakers did have a scare with an ankle injury that forced Kobe to miss some of Game 2 and all of Game 3.

In the NBA Finals run, Glen Rice averaged 12.4 points but shot an impressive 42 percent from deep. Rice’s best moments in the run came against Indiana (Game 2) when he scored 21 points and another 21 point performance against Portland (Game 4). Rice scored in double-figures in 17 of 23 games that playoff run.

That would mark the end for Rice in purple and gold as the Lakers traded him to New York. Rice went on to play four more total seasons before retiring. The champion finished his career averaging 18.3 points on 40 percent from 3-point shooting.

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Glen Rice might’ve fallen short of the Hall of Fame but one thing that can’t be denied is that he is one of the best shooters to have ever played the game.