Lakers: Robert Horry’s key to the Lakers’ three-peat isn’t who you’d think

Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images) /

The key to the Los Angeles Lakers’ three-peat team is not the player that many would guess.

The Los Angeles Lakers had one of the most dominant dynasty teams in NBA history at the turn of the century. Led by a prime Shaquille O’Neal and a young all-star guard by the name of Kobe Bryant, the Lakers won three consecutive NBA Championships and it really could have been more if the stars could co-exist.

If you ask any fan who the key player was for that team I would be willing to say that 90 percent would pick one of the two superstars. If not one of the superstars, the next best answer would be Robert Horry, who was the king of knocking down clutch shots.

According to the man himself, it was not him, either. Instead, Robert Horry picked a different, quite unexpected, player that he tabbed as the key for the Lakers’ success in those years.

Robert Horry says Ron Harper was the key to the three-peat Los Angeles Lakers

Speaking to Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles on the Knuckleheads podcast, Horry explained why it was the veteran Ron Harper that was the key to the Lakers’ success in those years.

"“He brought a certain maturity, he brought a certain veteran leadership to that team that we needed. He knew the system because he had won championships with Phil and he got everyone in the right position.”"

These are the kind of things that do not show up in the box score and we see it all the time, even in today’s NBA. We have become so fascinated with box scores and advanced stats in today’s modern NBA that we sometimes forget about the intangible impacts that do not show up in the stat line.

It was more than just the on-court adjustments and coaching, though. Harper helped bridge that gap between the players and head coach Phil Jackson, according to Horry.

"“When Phil would get upset, Harp would do this and tell us what to do to bring him back into the fold. Harp doesn’t get talked about but he was a big big key to our success not just on the court but off the court.”"

Who is the 2019-20 Los Angeles Lakers Ron Harper?

This is a tough one because there are so many veteran guys on this Lakers team and it is different as this Lakers team is led by a guy who kind of already orchestrates everything in LeBron James. Plus, there is not that built-in relationship with one player and Frank Vogel.

If I had to pick someone, though, I think I would go with Rajon Rondo. Rondo’s injury has proven to have a bigger impact than expected and his veteran presence as the Lakers’ secondary ball-handler as well as a veteran mentor to the younger guards on the team is big.

Next. 40 greatest Lakers of all-time. dark

Yes, Danny Green has loads of playoff experience but Rondo strikes me as the guy that leads the pack at the guard position but with his facilitating and his veteran leadership. As much flak as he gets at times, Rondo is important to this team.