Former Laker Rick Fox Calls 2001 Championship ‘Purist’ Of The Three-Peat

Former Laker Rick Fox Calls 2001 Championship ‘Purist’ Of The Three-Peat


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As a member of one of the most dominant Los Angeles Lakers squads in history, three-time NBA champion Rick Rox knows a thing or two about what it takes to win championships consecutively.

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Fox recently made an appearance on WGOW 1150 to talk about a number of different topics. Fox reflected on the three-peat campaign with the Lakers and believes that the second of the three straight titles was best of the bunch:

“It was the purist run to a championship,” Fox said. “We almost went undefeated and we knew what we were doing. We were on a high level of aptitude with the triangle, it was effortless.”

During the Lakers’ championship run in 2001, the team led by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal crushed competition in the playoffs. The Lakers effortlessly made their way through the first three rounds of the postseason sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers (3-0), Sacramento Kings (4-0) and San Antonio Spurs (4-0) one after the other.

Not until the Lakers went head-to-head against Allen Iverson’s Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Finals did the team face adversity. Iverson torched the Lakers at the Staples Center in Game 1 of the series scoring 48 points and leading Philadelphia to an impressive upset on the road.

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Fortunately for the Lakers, the team bounced back quickly with Shaq leading the way to win the next three games and clinch a second straight NBA title. Shaq was virtually unstoppable during the Finals that year averaging 33.0 points, 15.8 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game.

The following season in 2002, the Lakers continued their dominance in the playoffs meeting the same three teams in the Western Conference in a different order. The Lakers beat the Blazers convincingly in three games and then the Spurs in five.

The Kings posed a serious threat that year taking the Lakers the distance in seven games during the Western Conference Finals, but Los Angeles ultimately prevailed to go on to a third straight Finals appearance resulting in a sweep of Jason Kidd’s New Jersey Nets and a third straight title.
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  • lakers#1

    The triangle offense was poetry in motion when Phil Jackson was coaching…now it’s just small ball run and gun and hope the players won’t get injured. The NBA will never be as pure as it was when Phil Jackson was coaching!

    • Al Haldie

      Why does PHIL want FISHER because he ran the offense for Phil {triangle}
      for all those years and that is what they will run in N.Y – AND FOX & Pau -will be there also.. enjoy this yr..

  • comrade24

    I think the photo above is the only example of ANY photo where Kobe is laughing and Shaq has a serious look on his face. Seriously, that has to be rare lol

    • Michael lakers lifer

      Coz Phil said to Shaq “can you do me a favour and hit a f#*king free throw?”

      • Greg ‘King Saeed’ Williams

        Shaq made them when they counted…..

  • Bojangles

    Really? So he thinks that championship “insisted on absolute adherence to traditional rules or structures, especially in language or style”??

    Dude, there’s a difference between “Purist” and “Purest”… wow, just wow.

    • Paul

      Or maybe it’s the journalist’s fault.

      • Bojangles

        I am blaming the “journalist” for the misspell. Rick Fox was speaking on the radio…
        A typo’s one thing, but when the typo actually becomes a word with a completely different meaning, it’s just ridiculous.
        Btw, this so called “journalist” does this kind of stuff all the time. Soon as I saw the title, I just knew it was one of his articles

        • Bojangles

          Also, by writing it that way in the quote and in the title, really just means he doesn’t even realize the difference.
          Dictionary, bro… Dictionary.

          • nlruizjr

            Spell Check, if your lazy !!!!

  • hig

    After that OT loss in game 1, they went on to win the next 4 games, not 3.

  • brucewayne

    Isnt it supposed to be PUREST? Yikes. Proof read before posting please!

  • ethan

    Where is a time machine when you need one man wld love to see a in prime shaq and kobe together in the triangle wld still dominant even against thunder pacers heat noone today could stop prime shaq in the post it wld be childs play then a prime kobe not to young where hes reckless but like 28 29 30 ish with a 25-27 shaq damn still best duo ever

    • Greg ‘King Saeed’ Williams

      The BEST Center/SG combo EVER!!! Sad they didn’t dominate together longer than they did….But those 3-Peat years? The best as not even Magic’s Lakers 3-Peated……

  • Greg ‘King Saeed’ Williams

    18-1? Show me a more dominant NBA team in the history of the game! That was the BEST Lakers team EVER, even better then the Magic, Worthy and Kareem Lakers, who never went 18-1 throughout the playoffs……

  • James Dennis Ferguson

    The Lakers should draft Arron Gordon.

  • G FIelds

    Taking nothing away from A.I., but fortunately for he & the 76ers the Lakers were a little rusty. If I recall they had a week or more off while waiting for an opponent. My brother-in-law called me from Philly gloating. I told him now they will lose 4-strait. So, what I’m saying is …that Laker team which has the best playoff winning record (15-1) of all time – would have had an undefeated run, if not for long the layoff…