With the Lakers sealing any argument as to the 00s 'Team of the Decade' status this week, I thought I'd look back at our team of the decade. I'll put the team down and explain a couple of selections afterwards:
(Years active in 00s; championship rings in 00s with LA/total rings)
Shaquille O'Neal (00-04; 3/4)
Pau Gasol (08-09; 1)
Lamar Odom (04-09; 1)
Kobe Bryant (00-09; 4)
Derek Fisher (00-04, 07-09; 4)
Robert Horry (00-03; 3/7)
Rick Fox (00-04; 3)
Andrew Bynum (05-09; 1)
Trevor Ariza (07-09; 1)
Brian Shaw (00-03; 3)
Ron Harper (00-01; 2/5)
Horace Grant (00-01, 03-04; 1/4)
Ok, some explanations:
1) There is a noticeable lack of guard action here. Outside of the starters, we were blessed at the start of the decade with two old guys in Harper and Shaw whose experience was invaluable to us. Other than that, we had the Smush Parker debacle and not a great deal else. Anyway, I'm sure Kobe won't complain if he's given a lot of minutes.
2) Horace Grant's inclusion. I struggled to fill the last spot. Not because there were a host of duds to put in there, but I was undecided as to who to go for. Glen Rice played one season and had some big moments in Game 2 of the Finals in 2000, but his unsettling (or that of his wife) antics in that series pretty much summed him up as a team player for me here. The team I've listed is filled with guys you'd want to go into the trenches with, and Rice isn't near that category. Grant was a solid starting PF in a playoff team that went 15-1.
3) Other omissions. I'm not sure who else could be upset to miss this team. Devean George was the only one of the seven players to play in all of the three-peat teams to miss out, but his contrib ution to those titles was fairly minimal. Caron Butler was good in his only season, but it was our most forgettable season of the decade and I've really gone for guys in teams that did something. Luke Walton perhaps? Mark Madsen can come along if he's providing the dancing entertainment.
4) The team is a reminder of how fortunate we've been to witness this great decade of Laker basketball. In the above team, there are players with 38 championship rings between them, two of the best 10 or so players to ever play the game, and a host of role players who have secured their places in Laker folklore with key moments.
It's been a great decade. Anyone with a different take on the best Laker team of the 00s?