Former Laker Rick Fox Calls 2001 Championship ‘Purist’ Of The Three-Peat
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.
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.
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.
Lakers Likely Draft Candidates