The 2002 Lakers capped off one of the great runs in NBA history.
Those early aughts Lakers teams were built around one of the most dominant centres ever, the second-greatest shooting guard of all time, and led by the most decorated head coach in league history. From 2000 to 2002, the Lakers won back-to-back-to-back NBA titles, and they remain the last team to pull off that vaunted feat.
We decided to take a look at what became of the key figures from that legendary team.
The statistics below are courtesy of Basketball-Reference.
Shaquille O’Neal was THE star of the Lakers dynasty, a former league MVP who won the Finals MVP award for each of the Lakers titles, in addition to being a larger-than-life personality off the court.
Shaq would later rather famously have a falling out with Kobe and the Lakers organisation, resulting in his getting traded to the Miami Heat in 2004. He won another title with the Heat in 2006 and kept playing in the league for various teams until 2011. He is currently an in-studio analyst for TNT alongside Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson, and makes more money in endorsements and business deals than he ever did as a player.
Kobe Bryant was only 23-years-old at the time, but he was already an established All-NBA calibre player and one of the faces of the league by 2002. In fact, he became the youngest player in NBA history to win three titles.
Source: USA Today
Kobe would later lead the Lakers to two more titles without Shaq and became the franchise’s all-time scoring leader by the time he retired in 2016. He also recently won an Oscar as the executive producer of the animated short film “Dear Basketball,” and has turned his competitive juices to the world of start-ups.
Rick Fox was a valuable role player for all three Lakers’ titles, and even started every game in the 2002 season.
Fox retired at the end of the 2004 season. These days, he is a media personality with numerous television appearances, and also owns the E-Sports franchise Echo Fox.
Derek Fisher was another role player who had been a part of all three Lakers titles, playing at point guard.
Fisher went on to have a long NBA career, even winning two more titles with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010. After retiring as a player, he briefly served as the head coach of the New York Knicks, and currently works as a Lakers television analyst.
Robert Horry was already a two-time NBA champion with the Houston Rockets when he was traded to the Lakers in 1997.
Horry would later win two more titles with the San Antonio Spurs. His son, Camron Horry, currently plays football at Texas A&M.
Source: USA Today
Samaki Walker was a former NBA lottery pick who joined the Lakers as a free agent in the 2001 offseason, and started over 60 games for the Lakers that year.
Samaki Walker continued to bounce around the NBA for a few years, and then played overseas for a time. He currently works as a personal basketball player development coach.
Source: Vanity Fair
Lindsey Hunter was traded to the Lakers in the 2001 offseason, and started over half the team’s games that year.
Lindsey Hunter played several more years in the NBA, most of them with the Detroit Pistons, including on Detroit’s title-winning 2004 team. He is currently an assistant coach for the University of Buffalo men’s basketball team.
Source: University of Buffalo
Devean George was a member of all three title-winning Lakers teams, and averaged over 20 minutes a game for the ’02 Lakers.
George would stay with the Lakers until 2006, and ultimately retire from basketball in 2010. He currently runs his own real estate company, George Group North.
Source: George Group North
Brian Shaw was an NBA veteran who had already been in the league for ten years when he joined the Lakers in 1999, and was a part of all three Lakers’ title-winning squads.
Shaw later won two titles with the Lakers as an assistant coach in 2009 and 2010, and later became the head coach of the Denver Nuggets for a brief period. He is currently back on the Lakers sidelines as the team’s associate head coach.
Source: LA Lakers
Mitch Richmond was a long-time NBA veteran most notable for his time as a member of the Run-TMC Warriors. He joined the Lakers in the 2001 offseason, but played sparingly for the team.
Richmond is currently an assistant coach for the St. John’s men’s basketball team, working under another former Run-TMC Warrior, Chris Mullin.
Source: St. John’s University
Mark Madsen was a bench player who had been drafted out of Stanford by the Lakers in 2000.
Madsen spent a few more years in the league with the Lakers and then the Timberwolves. He is currently an assistant coach with the Lakers.
Source: LA Lakers
Phil Jackson was already one of the most successful coaches in NBA history, having coached Michael Jordan’s legendary Chicago Bulls teams which won six NBA championships, before he took over the Lakers in 1999 and immediately led them to a title.
Jackson would remain with the Lakers through 2011 (albeit leaving the team for a season in 2004-05), leading them to two more titles, and end his coaching career with 11 NBA titles, the most by any head coach in league history. After retiring as a coach he would later become the head of the New York Knicks front office, although his track record in that role was much more mixed, and he was fired after three seasons.
Tex Winter was the creator of the now legendary Triangle Offence, and he helped Phil Jackson implement it as an assistant for Jackson during all of his championship runs up to and through 2002.
Winter continued to work closely with Jackson for several more years, and he was enshrined in the basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.
Kurt Rambis was a long-time assistant coach for the Lakers, as well as a former player on the great Lakers teams of the 1980s.
Rambis remained an assistant coach with the Lakers for before becoming the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, although he was fired after two seasons. He is currently an assistant coach with the New York Knicks, having been given a role with the Knicks by Jackson in 2014.
Mitch Kupchak was the general manager of the 2002 Lakers, having taken over the job from the logo himself, Jerry West. Kupchak had previously been a player for the Lakers in the 1980s.
Kupchak guided the Lakers to two more titles as general manager, but was later fired after the team had gone into a downturn. He was just recently hired to be the General Manager and President of Basketball Operations of the Charlotte Hornets.
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