Best Los Angeles Lakers teams all-time: 5. 1999-00
Starters: Kobe Bryant, Ron Harper, Shaquille O’Neal, Glen Rice, A.C. Green.
Bench: Robert Horry, Brian Shaw, Rick Fox, Derek Fisher, Devean George, Travis Knight, John Salley.
The 1999-2000 season is when both Kobe and Shaq realized their full championship potential. They had been knocking on the door the past couple of seasons prior to this one, but the arrival of head coach Phil Jackson transformed this team into a true champion.
This team had a terrific regular season, won 67 games, and was easily the number one seed in the western conference. Then they showed their youth by struggling in the playoffs and having two extremely difficult series and even almost losing to the Kings in the first round.
In game seven of the Western Conference Finals that season, the Lakers’ future was looking bleak late in the fourth quarter trailing by 15 with only 10:28 remaining in the contest. Then Kobe and Shaq took over the game and lead the team on a comeback for the ages and capped it with an iconic alley-oop that ignited a run of three straight championships.
It was clear during this season that the two best players in the league both played for the Los Angeles Lakers and the combination of Shaq and Kobe was way too much for the rest of the league to deal with.
Other key veterans that added championship moxie to the roster included Ron Harper who came over with Phil Jackson from the Bulls, Brian Shaw, and Robert Horry, who all had a ton of playoff experience already.
That mixture of savvy vets with two superstars in their prime is what made this team so special and allowed the Lakers to win their first title since the 80’s Showtime era.