Kobe to Shaq Alley-Oop – Game 7 – 2000 Western Conference Finals
Any NBA fan knows the image of the Diesel storming down the court, fingers pointed to the rafters, arms raised. It’s the image that’s shown front and center whenever a statue is raised or a highlights package is run of the the big man.
Portland were a veteran, talented and deep team that included Rasheed Wallace, Scottie Pippen, Damon Stoudemire and Steve Smith. After LA took a 3-1 series lead over the Blazers, Portland would go on to level the series, forcing a Game 7 where they would take a 15-point fourth quarter lead. The Lakers however refused to lay down, and went on to stage the greatest comeback in the history of a Game 7.
LA would go on a 15-0 run in a period where Portland simply could not hit a shot.
With 55 seconds left on the clock in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals at Staples, with the Lakers ahead 83-79, Shaq takes the rebound, hands it to Horry who does his best not to travel at the worst time who dishes to Bryant to bring it up the floor.
The play that started the Kobe-Shaq era
Shaq sneaks down the floor, and when Brian Grant leaves him to contest Bryant, the big Diesel calls for the Alley-Oop and Kobe delivers. Creating one of the most iconic moments ever at Staples, and NBA Finals history.
This was the play that marked the arrival of the Shaq and Kobe era, and would be the first of a 3-Peat Championship run for the Lakers.
This game also served as a launching pad for Bryant, who in the biggest game of his young career led the Lakers with 25 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists.
The Lakers would go on to win the NBA Finals, defeating the Indiana Pacers 4-2. Sorry Reggie.