2002 NBA Finals

The 2002 NBA Finals was the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s championship series for the 2001–02 season. The best-of-seven playoff was contested between the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers (who were also two-time defending NBA champions), and the Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Nets. The Lakers swept the Nets, four games to none, to win the franchise's 14th NBA championship and third consecutive NBA championship. The 56th edition of the championship series was played between June 5 and June 12 and was broadcast on NBC — the last NBA games broadcast on the network to date.

Shaquille O'Neal, who averaged 36 points and 12 rebounds in the Finals, was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.[1] Lakers coach Phil Jackson won his ninth ring, tying him with Red Auerbach for most all-time.[2] During the series, he surpassed Pat Riley for most career playoffs wins with 156.[2]

2002 NBA Finals
2002NBAFinals
TeamCoachWins
Los Angeles Lakers Phil Jackson 4
New Jersey Nets Byron Scott 0
DatesJune 5–12
MVPShaquille O'Neal
(Los Angeles Lakers)
Hall of FamersLakers:
Mitch Richmond (2014)
Shaquille O'Neal (2016)
Nets:
Jason Kidd (2018)
Coaches:
Phil Jackson (2007)
Tex Winter (2011)
Officials:
Dick Bavetta (2015)
Eastern FinalsNets defeated Celtics, 4–2
Western FinalsLakers defeated Kings, 4–3

Background

Road to the Finals

Los Angeles Lakers (Western Conference champion) New Jersey Nets (Eastern Conference champion)
# Western Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 z-Sacramento Kings 61 21 .744
2 y-San Antonio Spurs 58 24 .707 3
3 x-Los Angeles Lakers 58 24 .707 3
4 x-Dallas Mavericks 57 25 .695 4
5 x-Minnesota Timberwolves 50 32 .610 11
6 x-Portland Trail Blazers 49 33 .598 12
7 x-Seattle SuperSonics 45 37 .549 16
8 x-Utah Jazz 44 38 .537 17
9 Los Angeles Clippers 39 43 .476 22
10 Phoenix Suns 36 46 .439 25
11 Houston Rockets 28 54 .341 33
12 Denver Nuggets 27 55 .329 34
13 Memphis Grizzlies 23 59 .280 38
14 Golden State Warriors 21 61 .256 40

3rd seed in the West, 2nd (tied) best league record

Regular season
# Eastern Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 c-New Jersey Nets 52 30 .634
2 y-Detroit Pistons 50 32 .610 2
3 x-Boston Celtics 49 33 .598 3
4 x-Charlotte Hornets 44 38 .537 8
5 x-Orlando Magic 44 38 .537 8
6 x-Philadelphia 76ers 43 39 .524 9
7 x-Toronto Raptors 42 40 .512 10
8 x-Indiana Pacers 42 40 .512 10
9 Milwaukee Bucks 41 41 .500 11
10 Washington Wizards 37 45 .451 15
11 Miami Heat 36 46 .439 16
12 Atlanta Hawks 33 49 .402 19
13 New York Knicks 30 52 .366 22
14 Cleveland Cavaliers 29 53 .354 23
15 Chicago Bulls 21 61 .256 31
1st seed in the East, 5th best league record
Defeated the (6) Portland Trail Blazers, 3–0 First Round Defeated the (8) Indiana Pacers, 3–2
Defeated the (2) San Antonio Spurs, 4–1 Conference Semifinals Defeated the (4) Charlotte Hornets, 4–1
Defeated the (1) Sacramento Kings, 4–3 Conference Finals Defeated the (3) Boston Celtics, 4–2

Regular season series

The Los Angeles Lakers and New Jersey Nets split both games in the regular season, each winning on their home court.

March 5
Recap at the Wayback Machine (archived February 12, 2005)
New Jersey Nets 92, Los Angeles Lakers 101
Staples Center, Los Angeles
April 2
Recap at the Wayback Machine (archived February 12, 2005)
Los Angeles Lakers 92, New Jersey Nets 94

New Jersey Nets

KiddFTline
Jason Kidd, New Jersey's prized acquisition in the summer of 2001.

Entering the 2001–02 season, the New Jersey Nets were enduring a three-year playoff drought and had a 73–141 record over that span. In 1999, the Nets hired Rod Thorn as team president and immediately, he hired the recently retired Byron Scott to coach New Jersey. Thorn then dealt for Stephon Marbury in a three-team trade with the Milwaukee Bucks and Minnesota Timberwolves, trading Sam Cassell away to the Bucks.[3] Due to the Nets' 31–51 season in 1999–2000 season, they had the first overall pick in the 2000 NBA draft, which they used to select power forward Kenyon Martin out of the University of Cincinnati.[4] Despite the reshuffling of the roster and a Rookie of the Year season for Martin, New Jersey struggled, ending the season with a 26–56 (.317) record, and owned the 7th pick in the upcoming draft.

With another lottery pick, Thorn dealt it to the Houston Rockets for draftees Richard Jefferson, Jason Collins and Brandon Armstrong.[3] The next day, Phoenix Suns owner Jerry Colangelo announced a franchise-shaking trade; Phoenix would swap their point guard Jason Kidd for his New Jersey counterpart Stephon Marbury.[5]

With the Princeton offense installed from the coaching staff,[6] the Nets rebounded to a 52–30 (.634) mark, a twenty-six-win improvement from the last season, and clinched the number-one seed in the Eastern Conference. Kidd finished the season awarded with first team spots on both the All-NBA[7] and All-Defensive Teams[8] and was selected for his fifth All-Star game. He also finished runner-up to San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan in the Most Valuable Player voting.[9] Richard Jefferson was an All-Rookie second team selection and Thorn, the architect of the franchise's resurgence, was awarded NBA Executive of the Year.[10]

In the first round of the playoffs, New Jersey survived a scare against the Indiana Pacers, escaping game five in double overtime to advance.[11] It was the Nets' first playoff series win since 1984. They then dismissed the Charlotte Hornets in five games before meeting their Atlantic Division rivals, the Boston Celtics, in the Conference Finals.[12] The Nets and Celtics split the first two games in New Jersey before moving to Boston. In Game 3, the Nets were dominating the Celtics, leading by as much as 21 in the fourth quarter. However, Boston, led by small forward Paul Pierce, then proceeded to outscore New Jersey 41–16 in the final period, rallying to win 94 to 90. Pierce himself scored 19 points, more than the Nets combined in the fourth, to complete the greatest fourth-quarter comeback in NBA playoff history.[13][14]

The Nets rebounded in a 94–92 Game 4 victory, that saw another Boston comeback, albeit one that fell short because Pierce missed crucial free throws late.[15] New Jersey then took control of the series and won the next two games in large fashion to finish off Boston in six games, earning the franchise's first NBA Finals appearance and becoming the third former American Basketball Association (ABA) team to make the Finals (the Spurs and the Pacers being the first two).[16] With averages of 17.5 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 10.2 assists per game during the six-game Conference Finals, Kidd become only the fourth player in NBA history to average a triple-double over a course of a series and the second to have at least three.[17][18]

Los Angeles Lakers

Shaq-MacDillAFB.JPEG
All Star center Shaquille O'Neal averaged 26 points and 13 rebounds in the regular season.

In stark contrast to New Jersey, the Los Angeles Lakers entered the season with high expectations, having won the last two NBA championships. In addition, Los Angeles was coming off of a 15–1 (.938 winning percentage) run through the 2001 NBA Playoffs, the greatest in NBA history, besting the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers' 12–1 (.923) run and were the first team to go undefeated on the road in the playoffs.[19] Since Phil Jackson had arrived to coach the Lakers in 1999, they had a 123–41 mark in the regular season and a 28–9 record in the postseason.

Amid tensions between co-captains Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, the franchise had another stellar season, finishing 58–24 (.707), good for second in the Pacific Division and earning the third seed in the Western Conference. Bryant and O'Neal were voted starters in the 2002 NBA All-Star Game, where Bryant won the game MVP trophy in his hometown Philadelphia.[20] The duo appeared on the All-NBA First Team and Bryant was honored with a Second-Team All-Defensive Team selection.[7][8]

Kobe Bryant IMG 2128r
Kobe Bryant showed strong poise in the Lakers' run through the playoffs.

The Lakers shot out to another quick start in the playoffs, finishing the Portland Trail Blazers in three games with a Robert Horry game-winner.[21] The San Antonio Spurs were dispatched in five games before Los Angeles met their biggest challenge in the duration of their championship reign in the Western Conference Finals: the Sacramento Kings. With the best record in the West, the Kings held home court advantage against the Lakers and split the first two games in ARCO Arena before the series shifted to Staples Center, where Sacramento blew out Los Angeles in Game 3 and led as much as 27 before settling with a 103–90 decision.[22]

Game 4 did not give the Lakers any more hope, as Sacramento led Los Angeles 40–20 at the end of the first quarter and held a lead as large as 26. But, the Lakers staged a furious second-half comeback to win 100–99, punctuated by Horry's buzzer-beating three-point shot.[23] Back in Sacramento for Game 5, the Kings staged some late-game heroics of their own as Mike Bibby nailed a jumper with 8.2 seconds remaining, giving his team not only a 92–91 win, but a 3–2 series advantage.[24]

With their season on the line, the Lakers returned home for Game 6. In a controversial contest, one in which the Lakers attempted 27 free throws in the fourth quarter to Sacramento's 9, O'Neal had one of the most dominant performances of his career with 41 points and 17 rebounds to force a Game 7 in ARCO Arena.[25] The outrage was as such that politician Ralph Nader demanded an investigation.[26] The Lakers prevailed in overtime 112–106 to earn their third straight NBA Finals berth.[27]

Starting lineups

Los Angeles Position New Jersey
Derek Fisher PG Jason Kidd
Kobe Bryant SG Kerry Kittles
Rick Fox SF Keith Van Horn
Robert Horry PF Kenyon Martin
Shaquille O'Neal C Todd MacCulloch

Rosters

Los Angeles Lakers

2001–02 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) 1978–08-23 Lower Merion HS (PA)
G 2 Fisher, Derek 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 1974–08-09 Little Rock
F 17 Fox, Rick 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 235 lb (107 kg) 1969–07–24 North Carolina
F 3 George, Devean 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 240 lb (109 kg) 1977–08–29 Augsburg
F 5 Horry, Robert 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 240 lb (109 kg) 1970–08–25 Alabama
G 10 Hunter, Lindsey 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 195 lb (88 kg) 1970–12–03 Jackson State
F 35 Madsen, Mark 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 245 lb (111 kg) 1976–01–28 Stanford
F/C 6 McCoy, Jelani Injured (IN) 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 255 lb (116 kg) 1977–12–06 UCLA
F 14 Medvedenko, Stanislav 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 250 lb (113 kg) 1979–04–04 Ukraine
C 34 O'Neal, Shaquille 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) 338 lb (153 kg) 1972–03–06 LSU
G 23 Richmond, Mitch 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 220 lb (100 kg) 1965–06–30 Kansas State
G 20 Shaw, Brian 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 1966–03–22 UC Santa Barbara
F/C 52 Walker, Samaki 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 255 lb (116 kg) 1976–02–25 Louisville
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

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

Roster
Last transaction: June 14, 2002

New Jersey Nets

2001–02 New Jersey Nets roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY-MM-DD) From
G 1 Armstrong, Brandon 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 188 lb (85 kg) 1980–06–16 Pepperdine
C 35 Collins, Jason 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 255 lb (116 kg) 1978–12–02 Stanford
G 12 Harris, Lucious 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1970–12–18 Long Beach State
F 24 Jefferson, Richard 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 222 lb (101 kg) 1980–06–21 Arizona
G 8 Johnson, Anthony 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1974–10–02 College of Charleston
G 5 Kidd, Jason (C) 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 204 lb (93 kg) 1973–03–23 California
G 30 Kittles, Kerry 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 179 lb (81 kg) 1974–06–12 Villanova
C 11 MacCulloch, Todd 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 280 lb (127 kg) 1976–01–27 Washington
F 13 Marshall, Donny 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 230 lb (104 kg) 1972–07–17 Connecticut
F 6 Martin, Kenyon 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 234 lb (106 kg) 1977–12–30 Cincinnati
F 21 Scalabrine, Brian 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 241 lb (109 kg) 1978–03–18 Southern California
F 44 Van Horn, Keith 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 220 lb (100 kg) 1975–10–23 Utah
F/C 34 Williams, Aaron 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 220 lb (100 kg) 1971–10–02 Xavier
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

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

Roster
Last transaction: June 14, 2002

Series summary

Game Date Away Team Result Home Team
Game 1 Wednesday, June 5 New Jersey Nets 94–99 (0–1) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 2 Friday, June 7 New Jersey Nets 83–106 (0–2) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 3 Sunday, June 9 Los Angeles Lakers 106–103 (3–0) New Jersey Nets
Game 4 Wednesday, June 12 Los Angeles Lakers 113–107 (4–0) New Jersey Nets

Game summaries

All times listed below are Eastern Daylight Time.

Game 1

June 5
6:00 pm
Recap at the Wayback Machine (archived December 4, 2004)
New Jersey Nets 94, Los Angeles Lakers 99
Scoring by quarter: 14–29, 22–19, 27–24, 31–27
Pts: O'Neal 36
Rebs: O'Neal 16
Asts: Bryant 6
TOs: O'Neal 5
Pts: Kidd 23
Rebs: Kidd 10
Asts: Kidd 10
Stls: Horry 3, Kidd 3
Staples Center, Los Angeles
Attendance: 18,997
Referees:

Los Angeles's Staples Center sold out for the inaugural game of the 2002 NBA Finals, with nearly 19,000 on hand. The Nets trotted out a lineup of Kidd, Kittles, Martin, Van Horn and MacCulloch to hold up against the two-time defending and heavily favored champions. The Lakers brought out Derek Fisher, Rick Fox, Shaquille O'Neal, Robert Horry, and Kobe Bryant, who drew the assignment of guarding Kidd. New Jersey head coach Byron Scott, a member of the Showtime Lakers, received a standing ovation.

Taking advantage of a late arrival to the arena by New Jersey, L.A. dominated the first 17 minutes of play with a 42–19 score by the 6:41 mark in the second quarter. From that point on, the Nets went on a 17–6 run to close the lead to a respectable 12. They had no answer for O'Neal, however, who had bullied MacCulloch into 16 points and 6 rebounds by half-time. The Nets outscored the Lakers in the third but stood steadfast as Bryant scored 11 of his 22 in the third.

New Jersey battled back, coming as close as three several times in the final quarter. Desperate to take the lead, they utilized the "Hack-a-Shaq" strategy midway in the fourth. It backfired, as O'Neal was 5–8 from the free throw line and had 16 points and 9 rebounds in the period alone.

New Jersey was doomed by their late start and poor shooting. The Nets, who shot 45% from the field and 74% on free throws were 39% and 57% respectively.[29] Kidd finished with a triple-double, the 26th in Finals history and the first since Charles Barkley's in the 1993 series.

Game 2

June 7
6:00 pm
Recap at the Wayback Machine (archived December 9, 2004)
New Jersey Nets 83, Los Angeles Lakers 106
Scoring by quarter: 21–27, 22–22, 18–28, 22–29
Pts: O'Neal 40
Rebs: O'Neal 12
Asts: O'Neal 8
TOs: O'Neal 4, Bryant 4
Pts: Kittles 23
Rebs: Kidd 9
Asts: Kidd 7
TOs: Kidd 5
Staples Center, Los Angeles
Attendance: 18,997
Referees:

Game 3

June 9
8:30 pm
Recap at the Wayback Machine (archived July 25, 2008)
Los Angeles Lakers 106, New Jersey Nets 103
Scoring by quarter: 31–23, 21–23, 26–32, 28–25
Pts: Bryant 36
Rebs: O'Neal 11
Asts: Fisher 6
TOs: Bryant 6
Pts: Kidd 30
Rebs: Van Horn 5, Kidd 5
Asts: Kidd 10
TOs: Martin 5

Game 4

June 12
9:00 pm
Recap at the Wayback Machine (archived July 25, 2008)
Los Angeles Lakers 113, New Jersey Nets 107
Scoring by quarter: 27–34, 31–23, 26–23, 29–27
Pts: O'Neal 34
Rebs: O'Neal 10
Asts: Bryant 8
TOs: Fox 4
Pts: Martin 35
Rebs: Martin 11
Asts: Kidd 12
TOs: Kidd 4
Meadowlands Arena, East Rutherford
Attendance: 19,296
Referees:

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 4 4 43.8 .514 .545 .806 5.8 5.3 1.5 0.8 26.8
Derek Fisher 4 4 33.0 .515 .667 .643 3.5 3.8 0.3 0.0 12.8
Rick Fox 4 4 36.0 .522 .455 .833 6.3 3.5 1.5 0.5 9.8
Devean George 4 0 18.0 .435 .600 1.000 4.8 0.0 0.3 0.5 6.5
Robert Horry 4 4 39.8 .458 .455 .833 7.3 4.3 2.8 1.8 8.0
Lindsey Hunter 3 0 3.7 .200 .000 .000 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.7
Mark Madsen 1 0 2.0 .000 .000 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Slava Medvedenko 2 0 4.5 1.000 .000 .000 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0
Shaquille O'Neal 4 4 41.5 .595 .000 .662 12.3 3.8 0.5 2.8 36.3
Mitch Richmond 1 0 1.0 1.000 .000 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.0
Brian Shaw 4 0 16.3 .286 .222 .000 1.8 2.5 0.3 0.5 3.5
Samaki Walker 4 0 6.0 .250 .000 1.000 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 1.0
New Jersey Nets
Player GP GS MPG FG% 3FG% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
Jason Collins 4 0 18.8 .500 .000 .875 2.5 0.3 0.3 0.5 4.3
Lucious Harris 4 0 22.8 .344 .200 .800 2.8 2.0 1.0 0.0 7.8
Richard Jefferson 4 0 24.3 .524 .000 .455 4.5 1.3 1.0 0.0 6.8
Anthony Johnson 4 0 5.3 .333 .000 .500 0.5 0.3 0.0 0.0 1.3
Jason Kidd 4 4 42.0 .438 .300 .636 7.3 9.8 2.3 0.8 20.8
Kerry Kittles 4 4 26.5 .452 .313 .700 2.0 2.5 1.5 0.5 12.5
Todd MacCulloch 4 4 18.5 .500 .000 0.5 5.0 0.5 0.8 1.0 7.5
Donny Marshall 2 0 1.0 .000 .000 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Kenyon Martin 4 4 39.5 .467 .200 .654 6.5 2.5 1.5 1.0 22.0
Brian Scalabrine 1 0 1.0 .000 .000 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Keith Van Horn 4 4 30.3 .386 .417 .750 5.8 2.3 0.5 0.3 10.5
Aaron Williams 4 0 11.5 .375 .000 1.000 2.3 0.3 0.8 0.5 3.5

Media coverage

The Finals were produced and televised in the United States by NBC. Marv Albert provided play-by-play calling. Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton and Steve "Snapper" Jones handled color duties. Jim Gray and Lewis Johnson roamed the sidelines for the Lakers and Nets respectively. Bob Costas hosted pregame and half-time shows with analyst Tom Tolbert.[30] Brent Musburger and Jack Ramsay called the four games on ESPN Radio. Hannah Storm hosted the post-game show.

This series was the last broadcast by NBC. In January 2002 the league's broadcast rights were awarded to ABC/ESPN in a six-year deal,[31] which was renewed for an additional eight years in 2007.[32]

At the conclusion of Game 4, NBC presented highlights of the twelve years of their NBA broadcasts; among them the Chicago Bulls' dynasty led by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, the retirements of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers' current Shaq/Kobe reign, as the credits rolled. NBC also played "Winning It All" by The Outfield, which they had used for the close of their NBA Finals broadcasts from 1992 to 1996. The last image displayed was of an empty gym, showing a basketball bouncing into the background, as "To The Flemish Cap" from the soundtrack to the film The Perfect Storm played. NBC ended the broadcast (and their 12-year run broadcasting NBA basketball) by displaying over the shot the message "Thanks for the memories".

Will Lyman narrated the season-ending documentary for NBA Entertainment.

2002 NBA Finals Ratings

Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 Game 4
10.6/20 9.1/18 10.2/18 10.8/19

Impact and aftermath

Lakers

The Lakers victory in this year's Finals would also mark the beginning of what would become a successful year for professional sports teams in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The nearby Anaheim Angels would later claim their first World Series championship four months later.[33] It marked the second occurrence that a city/metropolitan area won both NBA and Major League Baseball championships in the same calendar year. The last time this occurred was in 1988, when the Lakers won that year's NBA Finals in June; the Dodgers followed suit with a World Series victory four months later.[33][34] In relation to sports of smaller leagues, the Los Angeles Sparks won the WNBA Finals two months after the Lakers' 2002 Finals victory; the Los Angeles Galaxy won the MLS Cup exactly one week prior to the Angels' World Series victory in October.[33] The successes of Los Angeles area teams led Sporting News magazine to declare Anaheim/Los Angeles as "Best Sports City" in 2003.[35] As of 2018, the Lakers are the last team to pull off a 'three-peat' in North American professional sports.

The Lakers were off to a slow start in the 2002–03 NBA season. By this time, the relationship between Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal began to show cracks. Injuries were also starting to slow the Lakers down. Nevertheless, the Lakers won 50 games, but would only earn the fifth seed, thereby not earning the home-court advantage. Still, the Lakers took down the fourth-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves in six games. However, they were eliminated by the San Antonio Spurs, who finally earned revenge after their previous two defeats to the Lakers in the 2001 and 2002 NBA playoffs. In Game 5, Robert Horry, a perennial clutch threat in the playoffs, missed a game-winning three that would've given the Lakers a 3-2 lead. The miss eventually led to Horry's free-agent defection to the Spurs the following season.

Nets

The Nets made it back to the Finals in 2003. They won 49 games and the Atlantic Division title, and heading into the Finals they won ten straight games, two in the six-game first round win over the Milwaukee Bucks, and two four-game sweeps of the Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons. However, they still came up short, losing in six games to the Spurs, in the first NBA finals series featuring former ABA teams.

For the first time since 1998 and for only the third time in history, the NBA Finals ended before the NHL's Stanley Cup Finals; this would not happen again until 2011.

References

  1. ^ Associated (2002-06-13). "Shaq, MJ only players to win three straight Finals MVPs". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
  2. ^ a b "Lakers' Jackson has reached new heights in coaching". Sports Illustrated. Associated Press. 2002-06-13. Archived from the original on 23 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
  3. ^ a b Nets Trade History Archived 2007-04-20 at the Wayback Machine NBA.com/nets
  4. ^ Holding to form: Nets take Martin with first pick SportsIllustrated.com
  5. ^ Kidd, Marbury primary players in trade, USA Today
  6. ^ Liz Robbins (2002-02-02). "PRO BASKETBALL; Nets Get a New Read From the Old School". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
  7. ^ a b Bryant, McGrady are first-time All-NBA selections, USA Today
  8. ^ a b Payton ties mark with ninth All-Defensive slot USA Today
  9. ^ It's official: Duncan captures MVP award USA Today. Retrieved December 28, 2008
  10. ^ Title goes to one sharp Thorn: Nets GM honored as wheeler-deeler, New York Daily-News. Accessed 2009-04-14. Archived 2009-05-14.
  11. ^ Weary Kidd Leads Nets in Double OT Classic NBA.com
  12. ^ No Kidding, Nets Will Contend for East Title NBA.com
  13. ^ Pierce sparks Celtics after being down 21 ESPN.com
  14. ^ Nets allow Celtics to pull off biggest comeback ever Sports Illustrated.com
  15. ^ Facing Another Collapse, Nets Don't Buckle Accessed June 15, 2009.
  16. ^ "No Kidding, the Nets are in the NBA Finals!". NBA. 2002-05-31. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
  17. ^ Averaging a Triple-Double in a Playoff Series NBA.com. Retrieved November 10, 2008
  18. ^ JockBio: Jason Kidd Biography JockBio. Retrieved December 28, 2008
  19. ^ A Playoffs for the Ages NBA.com
  20. ^ West Wins! Kobe Stakes Claim in All-Star Lore NBA.com
  21. ^ "Horry Continues L.A. Story; Sinks Trey, Blazers". NBA. 2002-04-28. Archived from the original on 22 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
  22. ^ Kings' big lead proves too much for Lakers ESPN.com
  23. ^ Lakers tie series with Kings on late 3-pointer ESPN.com
  24. ^ Bibby's shot falls, Bryant's misses as Kings win ESPN.com
  25. ^ O'Neal rises to the occasion; Lakers force Game 7 ESPN.com
  26. ^ Ralph Nader Cries Foul Against the NBA NPR.com
  27. ^ "Lakers March On as Kings Can't Dethrone Dynasty". NBA. 2002-06-02. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
  28. ^ Nets' slow start costs them dearly in Game 1
  29. ^ "Nets' slow start costs them dearly in Game 1". Sports Illustrated. Associated Press. 2002-06-06. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
  30. ^ Costas will anchor NBC's NBA swan song USA Today. Retrieved December 28, 2008.
  31. ^ "NBA Finalizes Cable-Heavy TV Deal, Sees 25% Fee Increase". SportsBusiness Daily. 2002-06-13. Archived from the original on 5 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
  32. ^ "NBA Extends and Expands Partnership" (Press release). NBA. 2007-06-27. Archived from the original on 28 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
  33. ^ a b c Mike Penner (December 31, 2002). "What a Wonderfully Wacky Time It Was". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
  34. ^ Holtzman, Jerome (October 22, 1988). "OLD PROS EARN DODGERS REAL BASH". The Chicago Tribune. p. 1.
  35. ^ Hille, Bob (August 19, 2003). "Best Sports City 2003: We love Greater LA!". Sporting News. Retrieved 1 November 2011.

External links

  • "Official website". Archived from the original on 2010-03-21. Retrieved 2007-05-27.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  • "A Sweeping Statement". Archived from the original on 2010-12-03. Retrieved 2008-05-17.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link): NBA Encyclopedia article about 2002 Finals
2001–02 NBA season

The 2001–02 NBA season was the 56th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Los Angeles Lakers winning their third straight championship, beating the New Jersey Nets 4–0 in the 2002 NBA Finals.

2002 in basketball

The following are the basketball events of the year 2002 throughout the world.

2002–03 Los Angeles Lakers season

The 2002–03 NBA season was the Lakers' 55th season in the National Basketball Association, and 43rd in the city of Los Angeles. The Lakers entered the season as the three-time defending champions, having defeated the New Jersey Nets in four straight games in the 2002 NBA Finals, winning their fourteenth NBA championship. With All-Star center Shaquille O'Neal sidelined after an off-season foot-surgery, the Lakers started 3–9. After he returned, the team only improved slowly, having an 11–19 record thirty games into the season, their worst start in ten years. However, the Lakers won 11 of their final 13 games ending the season with a 50–32 record, finishing fifth in the Western Conference. The season saw co-captain Kobe Bryant play all 82 games for the first time in his career. He and Shaq were selected to play in the 2003 NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta.

Facing an uphill battle without home-court advantage, the Lakers managed to beat the 4th-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves in the opening round of the playoffs, but fell to the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs in the conference semifinals. Following the season, Robert Horry signed as a free agent with the San Antonio Spurs, Mark Madsen signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Samaki Walker signed with the Miami Heat, and Brian Shaw retired.

The season was overshadowed by the death of longtime Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn, who died after a fall in the summer of 2002, and to pay tribute, the Lakers donned an alternate white uniform, which can be only worn on Christmas and Sunday home games. The uniforms made its debut in a home loss against the Sacramento Kings on Christmas Day. They were designed by late owner Jerry Buss' daughter Jeanie.

2002–03 New Jersey Nets season

The 2002–03 New Jersey Nets season was the Nets' 36th season in the National Basketball Association, and 27th season in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Nets entered the season as runner-ups in the 2002 NBA Finals, where they were swept by the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers in four games. During the offseason, the Nets acquired All-Star center Dikembe Mutombo from the Philadelphia 76ers, and signed free agent Rodney Rogers. However, Mutombo only played just 24 games due to a wrist injury. The Nets got off a solid start with a 26–9 record, while posting a ten-game winning streak between December and January. The team finished their season first place in the Atlantic Division with a 49–33 record, while posting a successful 33–8 home record. Jason Kidd was selected for the 2003 NBA All-Star Game, leading the Nets with 18.7 points, 8.9 assists and 2.2 steals per game. In the first round of the playoffs, they defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in six games, then swept the 6th-seeded Boston Celtics in four straight games in the semifinals, and then defeated the top-seeded Detroit Pistons in another four-game sweep in the Eastern Conference Finals.

For the second consecutive year, they made it to the NBA Finals. However, they lost to the San Antonio Spurs in a six-game series. Following the season, Mutombo was released and signed as a free agent with the New York Knicks.

2007 NBA Finals

The 2007 NBA Finals was the championship series of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 2006–07 season, and was the conclusion of the season's playoffs. The best-of-seven series was played between the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs and the Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers. This was Cleveland's first trip to the NBA Finals in their franchise history and San Antonio's fourth. The Spurs swept the Cavaliers 4 games to 0. Tony Parker was named the series' MVP. The series was televised on ABC under the ESPN on ABC branding, and produced low television ratings comparing to the 2002 NBA Finals, when the Los Angeles Lakers swept the New Jersey Nets.

This series was the last sweep in the NBA Finals until 2018. This also was the last finals until 2019 in which a team was making its first trip to the NBA Finals in its franchise history.

Brian Scalabrine

Brian David Scalabrine (born March 18, 1978) is an American former professional basketball player who is currently a television analyst for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is also the co-host of "The Starting Lineup", which airs weekdays from 7-10am ET on SiriusXM NBA Radio.

Raised in Enumclaw, Washington, Scalabrine attended the University of Southern California after transferring from Highline College. As a member of the USC Trojans men's basketball team, Scalabrine was the top scorer and a leader in field goals and rebounds. He also played at the center position in college.

The New Jersey Nets selected him in the second round of the 2001 NBA draft. The Nets made consecutive NBA Finals his first two years, and Scalabrine played four seasons with the team. In 2005, he signed with the Boston Celtics and won a championship with the team in 2008. The Celtics also appeared in the 2010 NBA Finals. Scalabrine signed with the Chicago Bulls the following season, and played with them until 2012. Throughout his NBA career, Scalabrine served as a backup power forward.

In 2013, Mark Jackson announced that Scalabrine would join his Golden State Warriors coaching staff. In 2014, Scalabrine took a job as an analyst for Celtics games on local Boston broadcasts.

Chick Hearn

Francis Dayle "Chick" Hearn (November 27, 1916 – August 5, 2002) was an American sportscaster. Known primarily as the play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association, Hearn was remembered for his rapid fire, staccato broadcasting style, associated with colorful phrases such as slam dunk, air ball, and no harm, no foul that have become common basketball vernacular, and for broadcasting 3,338 consecutive Lakers games starting on November 21, 1965. Additionally, Hearn started the now common tradition of estimating the distance of shots taken.

Of note is that most of Hearn's games in the television era were simulcast on both radio and television, even after most teams chose to use different announcers for the different media.

Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals

Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals was a professional basketball game that was played on June 14, 1998 between the visiting Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz at the Delta Center, now known as Vivint Smart Home Arena, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Bulls won 87–86, winning their sixth NBA championship in eight years. Game 6 was the final game with the Bulls for Michael Jordan and coach Phil Jackson (both would retire from the National Basketball Association (NBA), then eventually return). This game earned, and still holds, the highest TV ratings of an NBA game of all time. Michael Jordan hit a jump shot with 5.2 seconds left in the game to give the Bulls an 87–86 lead. Chicago then held on to win after John Stockton missed a 3-point field goal.

Jelani McCoy

Jelani Marwan McCoy (born December 6, 1977) is an American former professional basketball player. A 6'10" power forward/center, he played in the NBA from 1998-2007 for the Seattle SuperSonics, Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks, and Denver Nuggets. He attended college at UCLA and high school at St. Augustine High School in San Diego, California.

Keith Van Horn

Keith Adam Van Horn (born October 23, 1975) is an American former professional basketball player. The 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m), 240 pounds (110 kg) forward graduated from Diamond Bar High School in Diamond Bar, California and attended the University of Utah where he went on to be a consensus First Team All-American in 1997. Van Horn finished his career at Utah as the school and Western Athletic Conference (WAC) all-time leading scorer and holds numerous other school records. He led Utah to three NCAA Division I top 25 finishes, including their highest ranking ever in school history (#2). He received the 1997 ESPN Men's College Basketball Performer of the Year award.Van Horn was selected with the second pick of the 1997 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers and was traded to the New Jersey Nets on a draft night trade. Van Horn played for the Nets from 1997 to 2002, leading the Nets in scoring in the 1997–98 and 1998–99 seasons where he averaged over 20 points per game and ranked fifth in the NBA in scoring in the 1999 season. He was a major contributor to the 2001–02 Nets team, leading the team in rebounding and placing second on the team in scoring. During his NBA career, Van Horn also played for the Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks.

Van Horn officially retired from the NBA in 2008 and averaged 16.0 points and nearly 7 rebounds per game during his nine-year NBA career.

Kenyon Martin

Kenyon Lee Martin (born December 30, 1977) is an American retired professional basketball player who played 15 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played for the New Jersey Nets, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA, and the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of China. The 6'9" power forward played college basketball for Cincinnati before being drafted with the first overall pick in the 2000 NBA draft by the New Jersey Nets.

List of NBA Finals broadcasters

The following is a list of the television and radio networks and announcers that have broadcast NBA Finals games over the years.

Marv Albert

Marv Albert (born Marvin Philip Aufrichtig; June 12, 1941) is an American sportscaster. Honored for his work as a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, he is commonly referred to as "the voice of basketball". From 1967 to 2004, he was also known as "the voice of the New York Knicks". Albert currently works for Turner Sports, serving as lead announcer for NBA games on TNT.

In addition to calling both professional and college basketball, he has experience announcing other sports such as American football, ice hockey, horse racing, boxing, and tennis. Albert has called the play-by-play of eight Super Bowls, NBA Finals, and seven Stanley Cup Finals. He has also called the Wimbledon Tennis Championships for TNT with Jim Courier and Mary Carillo. He also worked as a co-host and reporter for two World Series (1986 and 1988)

NBA Finals

The NBA Finals is the annual championship series of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Eastern and Western conference champions play a best-of-seven game series to determine the league champion. The winners of the Finals are awarded the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy, which replaced the Walter A. Brown Trophy in 1983.

The series was initially known as the BAA Finals prior to the 1949–50 season when the Basketball Association of America (BAA) merged with the National Basketball League (NBL) to form the NBA. The competition oversaw further name changes to NBA World Championship Series from 1950 to 1985, as well as a brief stint as the Showdown, before settling on NBA Finals in 1986.The NBA Finals was initially structured in a 2–2–1–1–1 format. In 1985, to ease the amount of cross-country travel, it was changed to a 2–3–2 format, where the first two and last two games of the series were played at the arena of the team who earned home-court advantage by having the better record during the regular season. In 2014, the 2–2–1–1–1 format was restored. The first two games are played the higher-seeded team's home, the following two at the home of the lower-seeded team, and the remaining three are played at each team's home arena alternately.A total of 19 franchises have won the NBA Finals, with the Toronto Raptors winning in 2019. The Boston Celtics hold the record for the most victories, having won the competition 17 times, as well as the most consecutive titles, winning 8 times from 1959 to 1966. The Los Angeles Lakers have contested the NBA Finals the most times, with 31 appearances. The Eastern Conference has provided the most champions, with 38 wins from 10 franchises; the Western Conference has 32, from 9 franchises.

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 TNT

NBA on TNT is a branding used for broadcasts of the National Basketball Association (NBA) games, produced by Turner Sports, the sports division of the WarnerMedia News & Sports subsidiary of WarnerMedia and televised on TNT since 1989. TNT's NBA coverage includes the Inside the NBA studio show, weekly doubleheaders throughout the regular season on Thursdays, as well as Tuesdays in the second half of the season, a majority of games during the first two rounds of the playoffs, and one conference finals series.

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.

Rick Fox

Ulrich Alexander Fox (born July 24, 1969) is a Canadian-Bahamian retired basketball player, actor, businessman, and esports franchise owner. He played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, and played college basketball for the North Carolina Tar Heels. He is the owner of the esports franchise Echo Fox.

Tim Donaghy

Tim Donaghy (; born January 7, 1967) is a former professional basketball referee who worked in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 13 seasons from 1994 to 2007. During his career in the NBA, Donaghy officiated in 772 regular season games and 20 playoff games.Donaghy resigned from the league on July 9, 2007 after reports of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for allegations that he bet on games that he officiated during his last two seasons and that he made calls affecting the point spread in those games. On August 15, 2007, Donaghy pleaded guilty to two federal charges related to the investigation. However, he could face more charges at the state level if it was determined that he deliberately miscalled individual games. Donaghy was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison on July 29, 2008. He served 11 months in a federal prison camp in Pensacola, Florida and the remainder of his sentence in a halfway house, but was sent back to prison in August for violating his release terms. He was released on November 4, 2009 after serving out his sentence.

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