Article: Respecting Big Shot Rob
The forum of Hoops-Nation and its Hoops Columnists squad brings readers at home the winning article for this week. In this article, the writer brings readers the respect and acknowledgement Robert Horry deserves as a clutch performer, which led to seven NBA rings. Read and enjoy!
The Staples Center was in frenzy. Everyone was clapping and cheering at the top of their lungs. The chants? “Horry! Horry! Horry!” Why the chants of Horry? Because Big Shot Rob just came up big again. Defeating a rival Sacramento Kings team.
Robert Horry was the ultumiate winner. He played for seven championship teams, with teams such as the Rockets, the Lakers, and the Spurs, and he was most certainly not along just to enjoy the ride. He was there to help his team win. His stats were never the most appealing, never above 12 points a game, but that was the thing with Robert Horry. He never built a reputation as a stat sheet stuffer. He built his reputation off of winning and clutch shot.
Robert Horry started off his career with the Houston Rockets. In the 1994 NBA Finals, he came up with several big shots, such as a reverse layup in the closing minutes in game seven against the Knicks and in game one of the Western Conference Semi-Finals, he hit a game winning jumper against the San Antonio Spurs. Another moment, Houston was up by one, Hakeem was in the post, and kicked it out to Horry for a straight on three. The result? Swish. They went up by four and Horry gave the Rockets a 3-0 series lead.
Horry’s career is usually viewed under a winning stand point. A seven time champion. But it wasn’t all about championships. During Horry’s stint with the Suns, it didn’t exactly work out for Big Shot Rob. He was traded to the Suns during the 1995-1996 season along with teammates Sam Cassell, Chucky Brown, and Mark Bryant for the former MVP, Charles Barkley. He got into heated arguments with coach, Danny Ainge, and even at one point throwing a towel at Ainge’s face. After the season was over and Horry didn’t make the playoffs for the first, and only time in his career, he moved on.
Robert Horry was traded the very next year to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he excelled in crunch time for the Lakers. He arrived in 1997 being traded for Cedric Ceballos. He came up big in a playoff Game two in the Western Conference Semi-Finals, where he hit all seven of his threes, not missing a single one, but the Lakers still fell 103-101. His seven threes are a record for most three point field goals made without a miss in a whole game, to this day. The Lakers lost the series against the Jazz.
Robert Horry won his first championship with the Lakers in 2000 with superstars, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and Phil Jackson leading the way. He was still a factor on the team. In 2001, his most notable playoff clutch moment during the Lakers’ playoff run came in game three against the Philadelphia 76ers. Leading by only one with under a minute left, the Philly crowd was going nuts. Their 76ers team had the chance, if they got a stop and a score to go up two games to one against the hated LA Lakers in the NBA Finals. If they got a stop. Just needed one stop. Did it happen? Brian Shaw dribbled to the half court line. Pass to Kobe. Kobe was doubled. Back to Shaw. Over to Horry in the left corner for three. Swish. Dagger. Up by four, 47 seconds left, Big Shot Rob delivered again. Lakers later went on to win the series four games to one against Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers, as Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal caputured their second title, Phil Jackson captured his eighth as a head coach, and Robert Horry captured his fourth.
In pursuit of their third title in a row, players needed to come up big. Shaquille O’Neal needed to come up big. Kobe Bryant needed to come up big. And Robert Horry needed to come up big. And of course, they all came up big in the playoffs. First Round. Game three against the Trail Blazers, Lakers were up two games to one, but were trailing by two in the final seconds. Kobe Bryant had the ball at the top of the key. He attacked the rim against the “Kobe stopper” Ruben Patterson. Drawing the double, he kicked it out to a wide open Robert Horry for three. Nothing but net. The Lakers won the game and completed their sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Lakers progressed to take on the Sacramento Kings in the Western Conference Finals. It was game four in the first half at home, where they looked in trouble, trailing by as many as 24 points. They cut the lead down to 99-97 and with 11 seconds left in the ball game, the Lakers had the ball. Kobe drove against Doug Christie for a layup. Short. Shaq tries to tip it back in. Miss. Ball gets batted all the way out to Mr. Horry for a straight on three at the buzzer. Bucket. Lakers win 100-99, with Staples Center in a frenzy, with the chants of “Horry” filling the building. Tied two games a piece, they went back up to Sacramento. They went on to win the series 4 games to 3 and swept the New Jersey Nets for their third consecutive title.
The Lakers failed to make it to the NBA Finals in 2003, but not without a gallant effort. In game five against San Antonio Spurs, it looked like the Spurs were cruising to victory, leading by as much as 25 in the game. A furious LA comeback led to the Lakers to being only down by two, 96-94, 11 seconds left. Sound familiar? Kobe Bryant dribbles into the corner with Bruce Bowen heavily guarding him. San Antonio falls asleep, as Robert Horry gets a wide open three from the left wing. It rimmed out, as the Spurs got a huge break. The Lakers lost game six as well, not going back to the Finals.
During the off season of 2003, Robert Horry became a free agent, where he had limited options. He expressed that he wanted, due to family concerns, to go back to a team in Texas to help take care of his family. He signed with the San Antonio Spurs, the rivals of the Lakers, also in pursuit of more rings. But in 2004, the Lakers swept the Spurs in four straight games, after the Spurs won the first two games.
The 2005 San Antonio Spurs was all about redemption, and with the Lakers falling into turmoil after Gary Payton moving onto Boston, Karl Malone retiring, Shaq being traded to Miami for role players and Phil Jackson retiring, the Lakers led by Kobe Bryant looked like a lottery team. San Antonio looked like the immediate favorites to win the championship. They made it all the way to the Finals to take on the defending world champion, Detroit Pistons. In a crucial game five, with the series being tied at two games a piece in Detroit, it was no doubt crucial for both teams to win the game. Detroit built up an early lead thanks to the brilliance of Chauncey Billups, but the Spurs then cut into the lead. In the fourth quarter, the Spurs needed a bright light, and who would be the better bright light than Big Shot Rob?
Horry scored only three points through three quarters, but then he had a breakout, scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter and in the overtime against the Pistons, for one of the most timely breakout scoring performances in the playoffs. The game went into overtime, and with the lead see-sawing through the final seconds of the game. Then, with 7 seconds left, down by two, the Spurs had the ball. Horry inbounded it into Ginobili in the corner. Rasheed Wallace came to doube. Big mistake. Manu kicked it out to a wide open Horry three. Drained. San Antonio held on for a 96-95 win and a 3-2 series lead against the Pistons. The Spurs won in seven games, with Duncan winning his third title and Horry winning his sixth championship.
The Spurs lost game seven against the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals, with Dirk leading the charge for the Mavs. They just could not stop him in that series, even with Bruce Bowen, the best defender in the league at the time, guarding him. The Dallas Mavericks eventually lost to the Miami Heat in six games.
In 2007, the Spurs looked for redemption once again. In the post season however, “Big Shot Rob” became known as “Cheap Shot Rob” by some people. In the Western Conference Semi-Finals, Horry sent Steve Nash flying into the scorers’ table. Bell got a technical for confronting Horry, Horry was ejected and suspended for games 5 and 6 and Boris Diaw and Amar’e Stoudemire were both suspended for game 5 for leaving the bench. Later on, in the post season, the Spurs won their fourth title, as Robert Horry got his seventh championship, sweeping the Cavaliers led by superstar Lebron James.
The Spurs tried to make a title run in 2008, but were stopped by the Los Angeles Lakers, with superstar Kobe Bryant and perrenial All-Star, Pau Gasol leading the charge. This was Robert Horry’s last title run. He retired after the season was over for the Spurs, when the Lakers defeated them in five games.
We will always remember Horry, for his clutch moments, and him stepping up in the playoffs. The seven time world champion was a key factor for all of the teams’ he played for in their title run. He shot 35% from the three point line in the post season. He holds records for most made threes in a playoff game without a miss (seven) second all time in threes made in the playoffs, only behind Reggie Miller, most threes made in one Finals series (53) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Horry are the only players in NBA history to have six championships who are non-Celtics.
Just remember that Horry was one of the big time playoff performances ever, and we will never forget what Big Shot Rob has done. He may not be a Hall of Famer, but we will always remember him.
This piece was written by forum user The Logo.