This Day In Sports History (June 12th) — Los Angeles Lakers
It was on this day in 2002 that the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA Championship. They would do so by defeating the New Jersey Nets 113-107 in Game Four of the NBA Finals.
The Lakers entered the 2001-02 NBA season having won the last two NBA Championships. And with the likes of Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Robert Horry and Derek Fisher on their roster, and coach Phil Jackson at the helm, they were favorites to win it for the third year in a row, and they didn’t disappoint.
After finishing the regular season in third place in the Western Conference, the Lakers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, the San Antonio Spurs and the Sacramento Kings, en route to the NBA Finals. The Nets would give the Lakers all that they could handle, as Games One, Three and Four were all decided by six points or less, but the Lakers would win each of those contests on their way to the franchise’s 15th NBA Championship. And after averaging 36 points and 12 rebounds per game in the Finals, Shaq would go on to earn NBA Finals MVP honors.
Here is a look at Robert Horry’s game-winning buzzer-beater in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, which helped prevent the Lakers from going down 3-1 in their series against the Sacramento Kings. Many people believe that Horry’s shot was the defining moment of the Lakers’ 2002 championship run.
Dallas Clark, NFL – Born on June 12, 1979 (age 34) in Sioux Falls, North Dakota
Hideki Matsui, MLB – Born on June 12, 1974 (age 39) in Neagari, Ishikawa, Japan
Mathieu Schneider, NHL – Born on June 12, 1969 (age 44) New York City, New York