The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off an impressive run in the NBA playoffs in which LeBron James and company were able to defy the odds and reach the Western Conference Finals to face the Denver Nuggets.
Despite coming up short in the Western Conference Finals with the Nuggets pulling off the sweep in four games, the 2022-23 campaign was a success for the Lakers and something the team can build off moving forward.
Ironically, 23 years ago, was the start of an unbelievable run and partnership between Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, with the dynamic duo pulling off an incredible comeback in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals against Scottie Pippen’s Portland Trail Blazers.
The Lakers looked down and out against the Blazers in the final game of the series, with the Blazers up by 16 heading into the fourth quarter, but that didn’t stop Los Angeles from pulling off the upset with an alley-oop between Bryant and O’Neal, putting the nail in the coffin via NBA on ESPN.
23 YEARS AGO 🤩
Kobe and Shaq's iconic alley-oop. pic.twitter.com/sMIxgEF9bW
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) June 4, 2023
Here are some fan reactions to this iconic Lakers moment:
"Bryant… TO SHAQ!"
Gives me chills every time
— 𝐓𝐚𝐥𝐤𝐢𝐧' 𝐍𝐁𝐀 (@_Talkin_NBA) June 4, 2023
Best duo to ever play together
— PlaybyPlayBark (@playbyplaybark) June 4, 2023
I wish they stayed together man
Imagine the dominance throughout the rest of the 2000’s
— Three and G 🏀 (@ThreeandG) June 4, 2023
That dunk gets the heavy credit rightfully so but that cross Kobe put on Pippen 🤌🏽
— Hotep Côte d'Ivoire (@GreenKing1300) June 4, 2023
This alley-oop became one of the most iconic moments in the franchise’s history, which is saying something considering all the special moments from superstars like Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar over the years.
Even though the Pippen-led Blazers were a legitimate title contender with one of the most talented squads in the league, Portland never recovered from this series, as the Lakers dominated the competition, winning three straight titles with O’Neal and Bryant leading the way.NEXT: LeBron James Shares Video Remembering His High School Era