2001 NBA Finals

The 2001 NBA Finals was the championship round of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 2000–01 season. The Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers took on the Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia 76ers for the championship, with the Lakers holding home-court advantage in a best-of-seven format.

The Lakers won the series 4 games to 1. Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal was named the Most Valuable Player of the series.

Allen Iverson scored 48 points in his only NBA Finals victory, as the 76ers took Game 1 107–101 in overtime, handing the Lakers their only loss of the playoffs. However, the Lakers went on to win the next four games, despite being out-shot and out-rebounded in the series. Los Angeles punished Philadelphia with their three-point shooting, which was the key to this series. In Game 3 Robert Horry hit a three-point shot in the last minute, and in the next two games the Lakers used hot 3-point shooting to build big leads and hold off late 76ers comeback attempts in games 4 and 5, pulling away for double-digit wins to win the title.

2001 NBA Finals
2001NBAFinals
TeamCoachWins
Los Angeles Lakers Phil Jackson 4
Philadelphia 76ers Larry Brown 1
DatesJune 6–15
MVPShaquille O’Neal
(Los Angeles Lakers)
Hall of FamersLakers:
Shaquille O'Neal (2016)
76ers:
Dikembe Mutombo (2015)
Allen Iverson (2016)
Coaches:
Larry Brown (2002)
Phil Jackson (2007)
Tex Winter (2011)
Officials:
Dick Bavetta (2015)
Eastern Finals76ers defeat Bucks, 4–3
Western FinalsLakers defeat Spurs, 4–0

Background

The Los Angeles Lakers entered the 2000–01 NBA season as the defending NBA champions. The club lost a few players to free agency, but they signed veteran players like Isaiah Rider and Horace Grant. The Lakers began the season struggling on and off the court, as they were losing games at the beginning with the Shaq–Kobe feud. Injuries also riddled the team as they struggled through the season. But by April 1, 2001, the Lakers last loss was to the New York Knicks and they never looked back as the team closed out the season on an eight-game winning streak, thus finishing the season 56-26 and closing out as the number 2 seed in the West behind the San Antonio Spurs.

The Lakers began the 2001 NBA Playoffs versus the team against whom they played the previous year in the Western Conference finals, the Portland Trail Blazers. The Trail Blazers were a team that struggled throughout the season but battled back to claim the 7th seed. The series wasn't close, as the Lakers swept the Trail Blazers by double digits in all three games. In the semifinals the Lakers took on the Sacramento Kings, a team who had also given the Lakers a tough series the previous season, but the Lakers took two close games at home and went to Sacramento to finish the Kings off with a 4–0 sweep as well. In the conference finals the Lakers went up against the number 1 seed San Antonio Spurs, who were expected to be more competitive than the Lakers' previous opponents. But the Lakers took games 1 and 2 in San Antonio, and then blew them out in games 3 and 4 in Los Angeles in another complete sweep as they became the second team in NBA history to sweep the conference playoffs at 11–0, the 1988-1989 Los Angeles Lakers being the first.

But the Lakers met a snag on their quest to the first NBA sweep in playoff history as they went up against Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers, seeded number 1 in the Eastern Conference, had just come out of two straight seven-game series against the Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks. During the first game, the trio of Iverson, Dikembe Mutombo and Eric Snow, coming hot off a long Eastern Conference championship road, beat the Lakers in overtime, showcasing their endurance.

The Lakers then took Game 2. Afterwards, Kobe Bryant ball quoted as saying he was coming to Philadelphia to cut their hearts out.[1] The Sixers dropped all three games in Philadelphia, giving the Lakers their second straight championship.

Road to the Finals

Los Angeles Lakers (Western Conference champion) Philadelphia 76ers (Eastern Conference champion)
Western Conference
# Team W L PCT GB
1 z-San Antonio Spurs 58 24 .707
2 y-Los Angeles Lakers 56 26 .683 2
3 x-Sacramento Kings 55 27 .671 3
4 x-Utah Jazz 53 29 .646 5
5 x-Dallas Mavericks 53 29 .646 5
6 x-Phoenix Suns 51 31 .622 7
7 x-Portland Trail Blazers 50 32 .610 8
8 x-Minnesota Timberwolves 47 35 .573 11
9 Houston Rockets 45 37 .549 13
10 Seattle SuperSonics 44 38 .537 14
11 Denver Nuggets 40 42 .488 18
12 Los Angeles Clippers 31 51 .378 27
13 Vancouver Grizzlies 23 59 .280 35
14 Golden State Warriors 17 65 .207 41

2nd seed in the West, 2nd-best league record

Regular season
Eastern Conference
# Team W L PCT GB
1 c-Philadelphia 76ers 56 26 .683
2 y-Milwaukee Bucks 52 30 .634 4
3 x-Miami Heat 50 32 .610 6
4 x-New York Knicks 48 34 .585 8
5 x-Toronto Raptors 47 35 .573 9
6 x-Charlotte Hornets 46 36 .561 10
7 x-Orlando Magic 43 39 .524 13
8 x-Indiana Pacers 41 41 .500 15
9 Boston Celtics 36 46 .439 20
10 Detroit Pistons 32 50 .390 24
11 Cleveland Cavaliers 30 52 .366 26
12 New Jersey Nets 26 56 .317 30
13 Atlanta Hawks 25 57 .305 31
14 Washington Wizards 19 63 .232 37
15 Chicago Bulls 15 67 .183 42

1st seed in the East, 3rd-best league record

Defeated the (7) Portland Trail Blazers, 3–0 First Round Defeated the (8) Indiana Pacers, 3–1
Defeated the (3) Sacramento Kings, 4–0 Conference Semifinals Defeated the (5) Toronto Raptors, 4–3
Defeated the (1) San Antonio Spurs, 4–0 Conference Finals Defeated the (2) Milwaukee Bucks, 4–3

Regular season series

Both teams split the two meetings, each won by the home team:

December 5, 2000
Philadelphia 76ers 85, Los Angeles Lakers 96
February 14, 2001
Los Angeles Lakers 97, Philadelphia 76ers 112

2001 NBA Finals rosters

Los Angeles Lakers

2000–01 Los Angeles Lakers roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY-MM-DD) From
G/F 8 Bryant, Kobe 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Lower Merion HS (PA)
G 2 Fisher, Derek 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 205 lb (93 kg) Arkansas-Little Rock
F/C 40 Foster, Greg 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 240 lb (109 kg) UTEP
F 17 Fox, Rick 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 235 lb (107 kg) North Carolina
F 3 George, Devean 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 240 lb (109 kg) Augsburg
F/C 54 Grant, Horace 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 245 lb (111 kg) Clemson
G 4 Harper, Ron 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Miami (OH)
F 5 Horry, Robert 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 240 lb (109 kg) Alabama
G 10 Lue, Tyronn 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Nebraska
F 35 Madsen, Mark 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 245 lb (111 kg) Stanford
F 14 Medvedenko, Slava (IN) 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 253 lb (115 kg) Ukraine
C 34 O'Neal, Shaquille 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) 338 lb (153 kg) Louisiana State
G 12 Penberthy, Mike (IN) 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 180 lb (82 kg) The Master's College
G/F 7 Rider, Isaiah (IN) 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 215 lb (98 kg) UNLV
G 20 Shaw, Brian 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 205 lb (93 kg) UC Santa Barbara
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

Roster
Last transaction: 2001-02-21

Philadelphia 76ers

2000–01 Philadelphia 76ers roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY-MM-DD) From
G 19 Bell, Raja 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 204 lb (93 kg) Florida International
G/F 23 Buford, Rodney 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 189 lb (86 kg) Creighton
G Claxton, Speedy Injured 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 166 lb (75 kg) Hofstra
C 52 Geiger, Matt 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 243 lb (110 kg) Georgia Tech
F/C 40 Hill, Tyrone 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 240 lb (109 kg) Xavier
G 3 Iverson, Allen 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 165 lb (75 kg) Georgetown
F 33 Jones, Jumaine 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 218 lb (99 kg) Georgia
F 9 Lynch, George 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 218 lb (99 kg) North Carolina
C 50 MacCulloch, Todd 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 280 lb (127 kg) Washington
G 8 McKie, Aaron 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 209 lb (95 kg) Temple
F 7 McLeod, Roshown 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 221 lb (100 kg) Duke
C 55 Mutombo, Dikembe 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m) 245 lb (111 kg) Georgetown
G 5 Ollie, Kevin 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 195 lb (88 kg) Connecticut
G 4 Sánchez, Pepe 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 195 lb (88 kg) Temple
G 20 Snow, Eric 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Michigan State
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

Roster

Series summary

Game Date Away Team Result Home Team
Game 1 Wednesday, June 6 Philadelphia 76ers 107–101 (OT) (1–0) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 2 Friday, June 8 Philadelphia 76ers 89–98 (1–1) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 3 Sunday, June 10 Los Angeles Lakers 96–91 (2–1) Philadelphia 76ers
Game 4 Wednesday, June 13 Los Angeles Lakers 100–86 (3–1) Philadelphia 76ers
Game 5 Friday, June 15 Los Angeles Lakers 108–96 (4–1) Philadelphia 76ers

Game summaries

Game 1

June 6
Recap at the Wayback Machine (archived May 9, 2009)
Philadelphia 76ers 107, Los Angeles Lakers 101 (OT)
Scoring by quarter: 22–23, 34–27, 23–27, 15–17, Overtime: 13–7
Pts: Allen Iverson 48
Rebs: Dikembe Mutombo 16
Asts: Aaron McKie 9
Pts: Shaquille O'Neal 44
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 20
Asts: Kobe Bryant, Rick Fox, Shaquille O'Neal 5 each
Philadelphia leads the series, 1–0
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees:
  • No. 27 Dick Bavetta
  • No. 10 Ron Garretson
  • No. 17 Joe Crawford

The Lakers dominated early, in what looked like to be their fourth series sweep. Scoring 16 straight points, the Lakers took a 21–9 lead over the Allen Iverson-led 76ers. Despite this major lead, Allen Iverson began dominating at the half of the 2nd quarter scoring 30 first half points. The 76ers turned the game around and even went up by 15 points during the third quarter before the Lakers started a comeback. Shaquille O'Neal was a major factor in the comeback, scoring 18 points in the quarter.

The Lakers played fantastically during the 4th quarter, and Tyronn Lue came off the bench and limited Allen Iverson to merely 3 points and had 3 assists and 2 steals of his own. The game was eventually tied at 94, and when Dikembe Mutombo missed two free throws and Eric Snow's desperation three-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the rim, the game went to overtime.

The Lakers dominated for the first half of the overtime, scoring 5 points, Raja Bell then hit a tough layup to answer followed by Allen Iverson scoring 7 straight points, including a three pointer to give them the lead followed by and step back 2-pointer over Tyronn Lue which is famously known as he stepped over Lue after hitting the shot. The 76ers finished up with a 6 point win to take the first game of the series.

Game 2

June 8
Recap at the Wayback Machine (archived April 1, 2009)
Philadelphia 76ers 89, Los Angeles Lakers 98
Scoring by quarter: 24–25, 23–24, 20–28, 22–21
Pts: Allen Iverson 23
Rebs: Dikembe Mutombo 13
Asts: Aaron McKie 6
Pts: Kobe Bryant 31
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 20
Asts: Shaquille O'Neal 9
Series tied, 1–1
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees:
  • No. 29 Steve Javie
  • No. 7 Bernie Fryer
  • No. 34 Ronnie Nunn

Kobe Bryant started off the game with 12 points in the first quarter, while Shaq scored 12 points in the second quarter. Despite their points, the 76ers kept a close lead as Larry Brown ran over 10 plays searching for the right quartet, and the fact that all the Lakers besides Bryant and O'Neal were shooting only at 27%. The Sixers were down by 13 in the fourth quarter, and were making a comeback due to Shaq sitting out with 5 fouls, which helped the 76ers to score 7 straight. Even though the 76ers were within 3 points of the Lakers, the 6 of 16 foul shooting in the fourth quarter put them behind permanently. O'Neal finished with 28 points, 20 rebounds, nine assists, and eight blocks, coming close to a quadruple double. Before the game, Lakers coach Phil Jackson had growled at O'Neal, "Don't be afraid to block a shot!" after O'Neal failed to block a shot in Game 1.[2]

Game 3

June 10
"Recap". Archived from the original on 2009-04-01. Retrieved 2011-07-02.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
Los Angeles Lakers 96, Philadelphia 76ers 91
Scoring by quarter: 25–25, 30–20, 18–21, 23–25
Pts: Kobe Bryant 32
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 12
Asts: Bryant, Horry,
O'Neal, Shaw 3 each
Pts: Allen Iverson 35
Rebs: Iverson, Mutombo 12 each
Asts: Aaron McKie 8
Los Angeles leads the series, 2–1
First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 20,900
Referees:
  • No. 15 Bennett Salvatore
  • No. 26 Bob Delaney
  • No. 43 Dan Crawford

Game 4

June 13
"Recap". Archived from the original on 2009-04-01. Retrieved 2011-07-02.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
Los Angeles Lakers 100, Philadelphia 76ers 86
Scoring by quarter: 22–14, 29–23, 26–22, 23–27
Pts: Shaquille O'Neal 34
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 14
Asts: Kobe Bryant 9
Pts: Allen Iverson 35
Rebs: Dikembe Mutombo 9
Asts: Iverson, Snow 4 each
Los Angeles leads the series, 3–1
First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 20,900
Referees:
  • No. 25 Hugh Evans
  • No. 35 Jack Nies
  • No. 32 Eddie F. Rush

Game 5

June 15
"Recap". Archived from the original on 2009-04-01. Retrieved 2011-07-02.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
Los Angeles Lakers 108, Philadelphia 76ers 96
Scoring by quarter: 24–27, 28–21, 31–20, 25–28
Pts: Shaquille O'Neal 29
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 13
Asts: Bryant, Fox 6 each
Pts: Allen Iverson 37
Rebs: Tyrone Hill 13
Asts: Eric Snow 12
Los Angeles wins the series, 4–1
First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 20,900
Referees:
  • No. 27 Dick Bavetta
  • No. 7 Bernie Fryer
  • No. 17 Joe Crawford

Player statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game
Los Angeles Lakers
Player GP GS MPG FG% 3FG% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
Kobe Bryant 5 5 46.8 .415 .333 .842 7.8 5.8 1.4 1.4 24.6
Derek Fisher 5 5 31.6 .436 .526 .833 1.2 2.0 1.6 0.2 9.8
Rick Fox 5 5 32.8 .441 .467 .923 4.6 3.8 1.2 0.4 9.8
Horace Grant 5 5 24.6 .294 .000 .750 5.6 0.6 0.4 1.4 5.2
Ron Harper 3 0 8.3 .625 .333 .667 1.7 1.0 0.3 0.3 4.3
Robert Horry 5 0 25.4 .560 .615 1.000 5.0 1.2 0.8 1.4 8.4
Tyronn Lue 5 0 14.6 .583 .667 .000 0.8 1.4 1.4 0.2 3.6
Mark Madsen 2 0 1.5 .000 .000 .000 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.0
Shaquille O'Neal 5 5 45.0 .573 .000 .513 15.8 4.8 0.4 3.4 33.0
Brian Shaw 5 0 18.6 .300 .300 .600 3.2 2.8 0.8 0.0 3.6
Philadelphia 76ers
Player GP GS MPG FG% 3FG% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
Raja Bell 5 0 15.8 .308 .000 .500 1.8 0.8 2.0 0.0 2.6
Rodney Buford 3 0 4.3 .167 .000 .000 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.7
Matt Geiger 5 0 10.8 .667 .000 1.000 1.0 0.4 0.2 0.0 5.2
Tyrone Hill 5 5 28.2 .394 .000 .778 6.6 0.4 0.0 1.2 6.6
Allen Iverson 5 5 47.4 .407 .282 .729 5.6 3.8 1.8 0.2 35.6
Jumaine Jones 5 4 12.4 .400 .500 .000 2.0 0.2 0.2 0.4 2.0
George Lynch 2 0 7.0 .333 .000 .000 2.5 0.5 1.0 0.0 1.0
Todd MacCulloch 5 0 6.2 .417 .000 .750 1.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.6
Aaron McKie 5 5 41.4 .313 .444 .667 5.4 6.0 1.2 0.6 8.0
Dikembe Mutombo 5 5 41.6 .600 .000 .692 12.2 0.4 0.4 2.2 16.8
Kevin Ollie 5 0 3.0 .333 .000 1.000 0.2 0.2 0.0 0.0 1.0
Eric Snow 5 1 32.8 .407 .000 .731 4.4 6.0 1.6 0.2 12.6

Aftermath

The Lakers won their third straight championship in a four-game sweep of the New Jersey Nets the following year. The Lakers won 58 games in the season, then defeated the Portland Trail Blazers in three games, the San Antonio Spurs in five games, and the Sacramento Kings in seven games before sweeping the Nets in the Finals.

As of the 2018–19 season, the series remains the 76ers’ last NBA Finals appearance. The Sixers would win only 43 games in the 2001-02 NBA season, as injuries were the story of their season. Nevertheless, they made the playoffs as the sixth seed, but were defeated by the Boston Celtics in five games. The Celtics themselves came within two games of returning to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1987, but were ousted by the upstart Nets, who made the NBA Finals for the first time, denying a possible Celtics-Lakers final. As for the Sixers, they would never challenge for the title again in the Allen Iverson era, with the team reaching the playoffs only twice for the next four years, winning only one series.

Larry Brown later coached the Detroit Pistons to their third championship in the 2004 NBA Finals, defeating the Lakers 4–1.

References

  1. ^ Associated Press (March 9, 2007). "Kobe visits former school to say hi, 'smell the gym'". ESPN.com.
  2. ^ Heisler, Mark (May 11, 2011). "Phil Jackson's tenure produced the most success and fun we've ever seen". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 17, 2011.

External links

  • "Official website". Archived from the original on 2009-03-31. Retrieved 2007-05-27.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  • ""Take Two for Tinseltown"". Archived from the original on 2010-12-03. Retrieved 2008-05-17.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) entry about Finals at NBA Encyclopedia
  • 2001 NBA Finals at basketball-reference.com
1999 NBA playoffs

The 1999 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association’s 1998-99 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs defeating the Eastern Conference champion New York Knicks 4 games to 1. Tim Duncan was named NBA Finals MVP.

The 1999 Playoffs are memorable in that a #8 seed (the Knicks) made it to the Finals for the only time in history, and that it came after a lockout-shortened 50-game season. It also featured the Philadelphia 76ers’ and Milwaukee Bucks’ first trip to the playoffs since 1991 (coincidentally they faced each other in the opening round that year), and it was also the 76ers’ first appearance since drafting Allen Iverson with the #1 overall pick in 1996. Iverson later led the Sixers to the 2001 NBA Finals. The Bulls, despite being defending champions, missed the playoffs for the first time since 1984 (mostly due to the second retirement of Michael Jordan and the departures of Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman). They also became the first defending champion since the 1969–70 Boston Celtics to miss the playoffs.

Although the Spurs had home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, they played more road games (9) than home games (8), as all their series were won on the road, which included back-to-back sweeps of the Lakers and Blazers (who would meet in next year's West Finals). They won twelve straight games, and finished 15–2 for a postseason record previously equalled by the 1991 Chicago Bulls and beaten only by a 15–1 playoff record with the only loss in overtime from the Los Angeles Lakers in 2001, and by a 16–1 playoff record from the Golden State Warriors in 2017.

After losing their Eastern Conference Semifinal series to the Knicks, the Atlanta Hawks did not return to the playoffs until 2008.

Game 4 of the Spurs–Lakers series was the last NBA game ever played in the Great Western Forum.

Game 5 of the Knicks–Pacers series was the last NBA game ever played at Market Square Arena.

For the first time since 1991, no series went to seven games.

After spending their first thirteen seasons in Sacramento in mediocrity, with no winning record and two playoff appearances in 1986 and 1996, the Kings franchise made the first of eight consecutive playoff appearances, which included a trip to the Western Conference Finals in 2002.

Game 4 of the Lakers–Rockets series turned out to be the final postseason appearance in Charles Barkley’s Hall of Fame career.

2000–01 NBA season

The 2000–01 NBA season was the 55th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Los Angeles Lakers winning their second straight championship, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 4 games to 1 in the 2001 NBA Finals.

2001 in basketball

The following are the basketball events of the year 2001 throughout the world.

2001–02 Los Angeles Lakers season

The 2001–02 NBA season was the Lakers' 54th season in the National Basketball Association, and 42nd in the city of Los Angeles. The Lakers entered the season as the two-time defending NBA champions, having defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in five games in the 2001 NBA Finals, winning their thirteenth NBA championship. During the offseason, the Lakers signed All-Star guard Mitch Richmond and free agent Samaki Walker, while acquiring Lindsey Hunter from the Milwaukee Bucks. The team got off to a fast start winning 16 of their first 17 games, and finished second in the Pacific Division with a 58–24 record. Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal were both selected for the 2002 NBA All-Star Game in which Bryant won MVP honors despite being booed by the hometown crowd, but O'Neal did not participate in the All-Star game due to an injury for the second year in a row.

After sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers 3–0 in the first round of the playoffs, then defeating the San Antonio Spurs 4–1 in the semifinals, the Lakers were pushed to the brink once more in the Western Conference Finals by their archrivals the Sacramento Kings. The Lakers were on the verge of defeat, but fortunately for them, David Stern stepped in and rigged the series for the Lakers. The NBA's logic was that a Finals between two small market teams, the Kings and Nets (who won the East), would be a financial disaster. Therefore, Stern ordered his refs, specifically Dick Bavetta, to rig the series for the Lakers at all costs. They then went on to win the NBA Finals, defeating and sweeping the New Jersey Nets in four straight games for their second three-peat in franchise history, the first since 1952–54. Following the season, Richmond retired and Hunter was traded to the Toronto Raptors.

This would be the third and final consecutive NBA Championship the Lakers won in the early 2000s, as in the next season, their quest for a fourth consecutive NBA Championship ended with a playoff elimination by the San Antonio Spurs in six games in the Semifinals, who would then go on to win the NBA Finals that season and their second NBA Championship, defeating the New Jersey Nets in six games. Although the Lakers would return to the Finals the following year in 2004, they would go on to lose to the Detroit Pistons in five games, despite being the heavy favorites to win and having former All-Stars and veterans Gary Payton and Karl Malone, leading to O'Neal's departure from the Lakers amidst boiling points between the Lakers staff and management and Kobe Bryant, culminating in his trade to the Miami Heat, marking the end of the early 2000s Lakers dynasty.

The Lakers would not win another title until 2009, in which they defeated the Orlando Magic in five games. They even won another title in 2010, where they defeated the Boston Celtics in seven games.

As of 2019, the Lakers are the most recent NBA team to have accomplished a three-peat.

2019 Overwatch League Grand Finals

The 2019 Overwatch League Grand Finals is the second championship series of the Overwatch League (OWL), which will take place on September 29, 2019. The series will be the conclusion of the 2019 Overwatch League playoffs and will be played at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The defending OWL champions are London Spitfire, who won the title against the Philadelphia Fusion.

Allen Iverson

Allen Ezail Iverson (; born June 7, 1975), nicknamed "the Answer", is an American former professional basketball player. He played 14 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) at both the shooting guard and point guard positions. Iverson was an 11-time NBA All-Star, won the All-Star game MVP award in 2001 and 2005, and was the NBA's Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2001. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016.

Iverson attended Bethel High School in Hampton, Virginia, and was a dual-sport athlete. He earned the Associated Press High School Player of the Year award in both football and basketball, and won the Division AAA Virginia state championship in both sports. After high school, Iverson played college basketball with the Georgetown Hoyas for two years, where he set the school record for career scoring average (22.9 points per game) and won Big East Defensive Player of the Year awards both years.Following two successful years at Georgetown, Iverson declared eligibility for the 1996 NBA draft, and was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the first overall pick. He was named the NBA Rookie of the Year in the 1996–97 season. Winning the NBA scoring title during the 1998–99, 2000–01, 2001–02, and 2004–05 seasons, Iverson was one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history, despite his relatively small stature (listed at 6 feet, 0 inches). His regular season career scoring average of 26.7 points per game ranks seventh all-time, and his playoff career scoring average of 29.7 points per game is second only to Michael Jordan. Iverson was also the NBA Most Valuable Player of the 2000–01 season, and led his team to the 2001 NBA Finals the same season. Iverson represented the United States at the 2004 Summer Olympics, winning the bronze medal.

Later in his career, Iverson played for the Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, and the Memphis Grizzlies, before ending his NBA career with the 76ers during the 2009–10 season. He was rated the fifth greatest NBA shooting guard of all time by ESPN in 2008. He finished his career in Turkey with Beşiktaş in 2011. He returned as a player-coach for 3's Company in the inaugural season of the BIG3.

Brian Shaw

Brian Keith Shaw (born March 22, 1966) is an American former professional basketball player and former head coach for the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He could play both guard positions, but was used primarily at point guard over the course of his 14 seasons in the league.

Curse of Billy Penn

The Curse of Billy Penn (1987–2008) was a curse used to explain the failure of major professional sports teams based in Philadelphia to win championships since the March 1987 construction of the One Liberty Place skyscraper, which exceeded the height of William Penn's statue atop Philadelphia City Hall.The curse ended on October 29, 2008, when the Philadelphia Phillies won the 2008 World Series, a year and four months after a statuette of the William Penn figure atop City Hall was affixed to the final beam during the June 2007 topping-off of the Comcast Center.

Eric Snow

Eric Snow (born April 5, 1973) is an American retired professional basketball player. Snow played the point guard position in the NBA from 1995 to 2008 and appeared in three NBA Finals. Known for his defense, Snow was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2003. Following his playing career, Snow served as an assistant coach at Florida Atlantic for two years (2014-2016) after having worked two seasons at SMU (2012–14) as Director of Player Development under Larry Brown, his former coach.

Flop (basketball)

In basketball, a flop is an intentional fall by a player after little or no physical contact by an opposing player in order to draw a personal foul call by an official against the opponent. The move is sometimes called acting, as in "acting as if he was fouled". Because it is inherently designed to deceive the official, flopping is generally considered to be unsportsmanlike. Nonetheless, it is widely practiced and even perfected by many professional players. The player that commits the act is referred to as a flopper.

Flopping effectively is not easy to do, primarily because drawing contact can sometimes result in the opposite effect—a foul called on the defensive player—when too much contact is drawn or if the player has not positioned himself perfectly. Additionally, even if no foul is called on either player, by falling to the floor, the flopping defensive player will have taken himself out of position to provide any further defensive opposition on the play, thus potentially allowing the offense to score easily. To consistently draw offensive fouls on opponents takes good body control and a great deal of practice.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) added a rule in 1997 to cut down on flopping near the basket, adding a 4-foot (1.22 meter) "dotted line area" around the center of the basket to help prevent flops. Such flops are charged as blocking fouls or no-calls. In the 2012–13 season, the league began fining guilty players.

In the NBA, the penalty for "flopping" is a technical foul if caught in-game, and a fine if caught after the game in video reviews. The technical foul is a non-unsportsmanlike conduct technical foul (one of six fouls a player may be assessed before disqualification; no ejection is possible). In FIBA play, the penalty is a technical foul that counts as one of two towards ejection.

2012–13 National Federation of State High School Associations basketball rule 10.6.f specifically defines "faking being fouled", in the judgment of an official, as unsportsmanlike conduct subject to penalty of a technical foul, but in practice this call is exceptionally rare.

Herb Brown

Herbert Brown (born March 14, 1936) is an American basketball coach and the brother of Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown. He is the former head coach of the Detroit Pistons (1976–78).

Hugh Evans (basketball)

Hugh Evans is a former basketball referee in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 28 seasons from 1972 to 2001. During his NBA officiating career, Evans worked 1,969 regular season NBA games and 35 NBA Finals games. During the 1995–96 NBA season, Evans was ranked the second best official in the league by coaches, general managers, and NBA Senior Vice President, Basketball Operations Rod Thorn. His final game was Game 4 of the 2001 NBA Finals, played at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 13, 2001. Evans wore the uniform number 25 during his career in the NBA. He currently serves as an assistant supervisor of officials in the NBA front office.

Maurice Cheeks

Maurice Edward Cheeks (born September 8, 1956) is an American former professional basketball player and is currently an assistant coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He has also served as head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers, Philadelphia 76ers and Detroit Pistons. Cheeks was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 2018.

NBA on NBC

The NBA on NBC is the branding used for presentations of National Basketball Association (NBA) games produced by the NBC television network in the United States. NBC held broadcast rights from 1955 to 1962 and again from 1990 (when it obtained the rights from CBS) to 2002. During NBC's partnership with the NBA in the 1990s, the league rose to unprecedented popularity, with ratings surpassing the days of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird in the mid-1980s.

NBA on television in the 2000s

As the national broadcaster of the NBA, CBS aired NBA games from the 1973-74 until the 1989–90 season, during which the early 1980s is notoriously known as the tape delay playoff era.

NBC then succeeded the broadcast rights from 1990 to 2002. During NBC's partnership with the NBA in the 1990s, the league rose to unprecedented popularity, with ratings surpassing the days of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird in the mid 1980s. Upon expiration of the contract in 2002, the league signed an agreement with ABC, which began airing games in the 2002-03 season. NBC had made a four-year $1.3 billion ($330 million/year) bid in the spring of 2002 to renew its NBA rights, but the league instead went to ESPN and ABC with a six-year deal worth $2.4 billion ($400 million/year), a total of $4.6 billion ($766 million/year) when adding the cable deal with Turner Sports. Partially due to the retirement of Michael Jordan, the league suffered ratings decline after ESPN and ABC took over the rights. The NBA extended its national TV package on June 27, 2007 worth eight-year $7.4 billion ($930 million/year) through the 2015–16 season, during which the league had its new resurgence leading by renewed Celtics–Lakers rivalry and LeBron James.

The 2001-02 season would mark the final year of regular NBA coverage on TBS, Turner Sports signed a new NBA television contract in which TNT would assume rights to the company's NBA package while TBS would discontinue game coverage altogether.

Robert Horry

Robert Keith Horry (; born August 25, 1970) is an American retired basketball player and current sports commentator. He played 16 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA), winning seven championships, the most of any player not to have played on the 1960s Boston Celtics. He is one of only two players (the other is John Salley) to have won NBA championships with three teams: two with the Houston Rockets, three with the Los Angeles Lakers and two with the San Antonio Spurs. He earned the nickname Big Shot Bob because of his clutch shooting in important games; he is widely considered to be one of the greatest clutch performers and winners in NBA history. Horry now works as a commentator on Spectrum SportsNet.

Slava Medvedenko

Stanislav "Slava" Medvedenko (Ukrainian: Станіслав "Слава" Медведенко, born April 4, 1979) is a Ukrainian former professional basketball player, who last played with the Atlanta Hawks and the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association. His position was power forward.

Tyrone Hill

Tyrone Hill (born March 19, 1968) is an American retired basketball player and, since 2008–09, assistant coach for the National Basketball Association's Atlanta Hawks. Hill spent four years playing collegiately at Xavier University, in his last season averaging 20.2 points and 12.6 rebounds per game, while shooting 58.1% from the field. The Golden State Warriors selected him with the eleventh pick of the 1990 NBA draft.After three years in Golden State, Hill was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the summer of 1993. Playing under Mike Fratello, Hill earned an All-Star Game appearance in 1995. He set Cleveland's single-season franchise record by shooting a career-best 60.0% from the field (and ranked second in the NBA). Hill was sent to the Milwaukee Bucks in a 1997 three-team deal involving notably Terrell Brandon and Shawn Kemp, and spent the remainder of his career between the Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland (2 stints; 1993–94 to 1996–97 and 2001–02 to 2002–03), and the Miami Heat.As the starting power forward for Philadelphia, Hill teamed up with Theo Ratliff and later with Dikembe Mutombo with whom he played in the 2001 NBA Finals, losing to the Los Angeles Lakers. He is frequently referred to as the ultimate "lunch pail and hard hat" player, due to his rugged style of play and relentless defense and rebounding prowess.Hill had a career field-goal shooting percentage of 50.2 and free-throw percentage of 63.Tyrone also owned a Cincinnati, Ohio-based record company called All Net Records and released various singles and albums by groups including OTR Clique, D'Meka, Renaizzance, and KompoZur.Tyrone Hill Was Charged With Battery & Assault to A Cleveland City Worker In 2012 and Served 30 months in The Ohio State Penitentiary.

Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia)

The Wells Fargo Center is a multi-purpose arena located in Philadelphia. It serves as the home of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League (NHL), the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League (AFL) and the Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League (NLL). The arena lies at the southwest corner of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, which includes Lincoln Financial Field, Citizens Bank Park, and Xfinity Live!.

The Wells Fargo Center, originally called Spectrum II, was completed in 1996 to replace the Spectrum as the home arena of the 76ers and Flyers, on the former site of John F. Kennedy Stadium at a cost of $210 million, largely privately financed (though the city and state helped to pay for the local infrastructure). It is owned by Comcast Spectacor, which also owns the Flyers, and is operated by its arena-management subsidiary, Global Spectrum. Since opening, it has been known by a number of different names through naming rights deals and bank mergers, including CoreStates Center from 1996 to 1998, First Union Center from 1998 to 2003, and Wachovia Center from 2003 to 2010. Since 2010, naming rights have been held by financial services company Wells Fargo, after their merger with Wachovia.

In addition to hosting home games for its main tenants, the arena has been the site of a number of other notable athletic events including Games 1 and 2 from the 1997 and Games 3, 4 and 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, Games 3, 4 and 5 of the 2001 NBA Finals, and various collegiate events for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Wells Fargo Center has hosted two political conventions, hosting the 2000 Republican National Convention and 2016 Democratic National Convention. The arena is a regular venue for concerts and WWE events. The arena has a concert seating capacity of 21,000 seated and at least 21,500 standing.

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