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2003–04 Los Angeles Lakers season

The 2003–04 NBA season was the Lakers' 56th season in the National Basketball Association, and 44th in the city of Los Angeles.[1] During the offseason, the Lakers signed veteran free agents and former All-Stars Karl Malone and Gary Payton, who were recruited by Superstar center Shaquille O'Neal, plus re-signing free agent Horace Grant.[2][3] Payton struggled with coach Phil Jackson's triangle offense, which limited his ball-handling and post-up opportunities.[4][5]

2003–04 Los Angeles Lakers season
Conference Champions
Division Champions
Head coach Phil Jackson
General manager Mitch Kupchak
Owner(s) Jerry Buss
Arena Staples Center
Results
Record 56–26 (.683)
Place Division: 1st (Pacific)
Conference: 2nd (Western)
Playoff finish NBA Finals
(Lost to Pistons 1–4)

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
Television Fox Sports Net West, KCAL
Radio AM 570 KLAC
< 2002–03 2004–05 >
Horace Grant battles for a jump ball versus Memphis Grizzlies Pau Gasol in November 2003.

The off-season is notable for seeing Superstar guard Kobe Bryant getting accused of sexual assault in Colorado, which proved to be an ongoing distraction during the season.

The Lakers started the season 18–3. However, they ran into struggles when Malone went down with a knee injury in December, soon followed by ailments to Shaq and Kobe. The "Big Four" of O'Neal, Bryant, Malone, and Payton played in only 20 games together. Despite all of this, the injury-depleted Lakers still managed a 56–26 record and entered the playoffs as the number 2 seed in the Western Conference.

They defeated a Houston Rockets team featuring Steve Francis and a young Yao Ming in five games in the first round. The second round pitted the Lakers against the defending NBA champions the San Antonio Spurs, who defeated the Lakers in last year's playoffs. Though the Spurs took the first two games, the Lakers won the next four games, including Derek Fisher's miracle shot with 0.4 seconds left in Game 5 (a 74–73 Lakers victory) and a Game 6 88–76 victory at home to advance to the Western Conference Finals against the Kevin Garnett-led Minnesota Timberwolves. The Lakers managed to get through a tough Minnesota team, defeating them in six games to advance to the NBA Finals where they would meet the Detroit Pistons. Though the Lakers were heavily favored to win the title, the heavy-underdog Pistons proved too much for the Lakers as they easily went on to win the series in five games.

Game 4 of the NBA Finals was Malone's final NBA game, as injuries forced him to sit out the fifth and final game of the series. Grant also retired the following season after his second stint with the Lakers.

Game 5 was the last time that O'Neal and Bryant would play together as teammates, as O'Neal would be traded to the Miami Heat following the season after an acrimonious relationship between the duo. Meanwhile, Fisher signed as a free agent with the Golden State Warriors and Payton, who only spent one season with the Lakers, and Rick Fox were both traded to the Boston Celtics.

For head coach Phil Jackson, he left the team at the conclusion of the Finals, and later wrote a book about the team's season in which he voiced disdain for Kobe Bryant, calling him "uncoachable". 2004 was the first time the Lakers had lost the NBA Finals under Jackson. He returned for the 2005-06 season and led the team to another NBA Finals appearance in 2008, where they fell to the Boston Celtics in six games. However, the Lakers won two more titles the following two seasons before Jackson retired from coaching in 2011.

Despite their feud and Kobe's ongoing distraction, O'Neal and Bryant were voted to play in the 2004 NBA All-Star Game, which was hosted in Los Angeles. O'Neal was named the game's MVP.

The team's season roster is featured in NBA 2K18.

Contents

Draft picksEdit

Round Pick Player Position Nationality College
1 24 Brian Cook F   United States Illinois
2 32 Luke Walton F   United States Arizona

RosterEdit

Los Angeles Lakers roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY-MM-DD) From
G/F 8   Bryant, Kobe 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 1978–08–23 Lower Merion HS (PA)
F 7   Cook, Brian 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 234 lb (106 kg) 1980-12-04 Illinois
G 2   Fisher, Derek 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 210 lb (95 kg) 1974-08-09 Arkansas-Little Rock
F 17   Fox, Rick 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 230 lb (104 kg) 1969-07-24 North Carolina
F 3   George, Devean 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 235 lb (107 kg) 1977-08-29 Augsburg
F/C 54   Grant, Horace   6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 245 lb (111 kg) 1965-07-04 Clemson
F 11   Malone, Karl 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 250 lb (113 kg) 1963-07-24 Louisiana Tech
F 14   Medvedenko, Slava 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 253 lb (115 kg) 1979-04-04 Ukraine
C 34   O'Neal, Shaquille 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) 325 lb (147 kg) 1972-03-06 LSU
G 20   Payton, Gary 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1968-07-23 Oregon State
G 21   Rush, Kareem 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1980-10-30 Missouri
F 9   Russell, Bryon 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 225 lb (102 kg) 1970-12-31 Long Beach State
F/C 31   Sampson, Jamal   6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 235 lb (107 kg) 1983-05-13 UC Berkeley
F 4   Walton, Luke 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 235 lb (107 kg) 1980-03-28 Arizona
Head coach

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  •   Injured

Roster
Last transaction: 2004-01-30

Regular seasonEdit

Season standingsEdit

Pacific Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Los Angeles Lakers 56 26 .683 34–7 22–19 15–9
x-Sacramento Kings 55 27 .671 1 34–7 21–20 16–8
Portland Trail Blazers 41 41 .500 15 25–16 16–25 13–11
Seattle SuperSonics 37 45 .451 19 21–20 16–25 11–13
Golden State Warriors 37 45 .451 19 27–14 10–31 12–12
Phoenix Suns 29 53 .354 27 18–23 11–30 9–15
Los Angeles Clippers 28 54 .341 28 18–23 10–31 8–16
# Western Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 c-Minnesota Timberwolves 58 24 .707
2 y-Los Angeles Lakers 56 26 .683 2
3 x-San Antonio Spurs 57 25 .695 1
4 x-Sacramento Kings 55 27 .671 3
5 x-Dallas Mavericks 52 30 .634 6
6 x-Memphis Grizzlies 50 32 .610 8
7 x-Houston Rockets 45 37 .549 13
8 x-Denver Nuggets 43 39 .524 15
9 Utah Jazz 42 40 .512 16
10 Portland Trail Blazers 41 41 .500 17
11 Seattle SuperSonics 37 45 .451 21
12 Golden State Warriors 37 45 .451 21
13 Phoenix Suns 29 53 .354 29
14 Los Angeles Clippers 28 54 .341 30


Record vs. opponentsEdit

2003-04 NBA Records
Team ATL BOS CHI CLE DAL DEN DET GSW HOU IND LAC LAL MEM MIA MIL MIN NJN NOH NYK ORL PHI PHO POR SAC SAS SEA TOR UTA WAS
Atlanta 3–1 3–1 1–3 2–0 2–0 1–3 0–2 0–2 0–4 0–2 1–1 0–2 1–3 2–2 1–1 1–3 2–2 0–3 1–3 1–2 1–1 0–2 0–2 1–1 1–1 1–3 0–2 2–2
Boston 1–3 1–2 3–1 1–1 2–0 0–3 2–0 1–1 1–3 0–2 0–2 1–1 2–2 1–3 1–1 2–2 0–4 1–3 3–1 3–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 0–2 1–1 3–1 1–1 3–1
Chicago 1–3 2–1 2–2 0–2 0–2 0–4 1–1 0–2 1–3 1–1 0–2 0–2 0–4 1–3 0–2 0–3 2–2 2–2 3–1 0–4 1–1 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–2 4–0 1–1 1–3
Cleveland 3–1 1–3 2–2 0–2 0–2 2–2 0–2 0–2 1–3 1–1 0–2 0–2 2–2 2–2 0–2 1–2 3–1 4–0 2–1 3–1 0–2 1–1 0–2 1–1 2–0 1–3 1–1 2–2
Dallas 0–2 1–1 2–0 2–0 2–2 1–1 3–1 3–1 0–2 2–2 2–2 2–2 1–1 1–1 2–2 2–0 2–0 2–0 2–0 1–1 3–1 3–1 3–1 3–1 3–1 1–1 2–2 1–1
Denver 0–2 0–2 2–0 2–0 2–2 0–2 3–1 2–2 0–2 2–2 1–3 2–2 1–1 2–0 1–3 0–2 1–1 1–1 1–1 2–0 4–0 4–0 2–2 1–3 2–2 0–2 3–1 2–0
Detroit 3–1 3–0 4–0 2–2 1–1 2–0 1–1 1–1 1–3 2–0 1–1 2–0 4–0 3–1 0–2 2–2 1–3 3–1 3–1 2–2 2–0 2–0 0–2 1–1 1–1 3–1 1–1 3–0
Golden State 2–0 0–2 1–1 2–0 1–3 1–3 1–1 2–2 0–2 2–2 1–3 1–3 1–1 1–1 2–2 0–2 0–2 2–0 1–1 1–1 2–2 2–2 2–2 2–2 3–1 1–1 2–2 1–1
Houston 2–0 1–1 2–0 2–0 1–3 2–2 1–1 2–2 1–1 4–0 2–2 1–3 1–1 2–0 2–2 1–1 2–0 2–0 2–0 2–0 1–3 3–1 0–4 0–4 1–3 1–1 2–2 2–0
Indiana 4–0 3–1 3–1 3–1 2–0 2–0 3–1 2–0 1–1 2–0 1–1 1–1 3–0 1–3 1–1 3–1 2–2 3–1 3–1 4–0 2–0 1–1 0–2 1–1 2–0 4–0 2–0 2–1
L.A. Clippers 2–0 2–0 1–1 1–1 2–2 2–2 0–2 2–2 0–4 0–2 1–3 0–4 0–2 2–0 0–4 0–2 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–1 3–1 2–2 0–4 1–3 0–4 1–1 1–3 0–2
L.A. Lakers 1–1 2–0 2–0 2–0 2–2 3–1 1–1 3–1 2–2 1–1 3–1 2–2 2–0 2–0 1–3 2–0 1–1 2–0 2–0 1–1 3–1 2–2 1–3 3–1 3–1 2–0 3–1 2–0
Memphis 2–0 1–1 2–0 2–0 2–2 2–2 0–2 3–1 3–1 1–1 4–0 2–2 1–1 1–1 1–3 2–0 1–1 1–1 2–0 2–0 2–2 2–2 2–2 3–1 1–3 2–0 1–3 2–0
Miami 3–1 2–2 4–0 2–2 1–1 1–1 0–4 1–1 1–1 0–3 2–0 0–2 1–1 1–2 0–2 3–2 3–1 1–3 4–0 1–3 1–1 0–2 1–1 0–2 2–0 2–1 1–1 4–0
Milwaukee 2–2 3–1 3–1 2–2 1–1 0–2 1–3 1–1 0–2 3–1 0–2 0–2 1–1 2–1 0–2 3–1 1–3 2–2 3–1 2–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–2 3–1 1–1 3–1
Minnesota 1–1 1–1 2–0 2–0 2–2 3–1 2–0 2–2 2–2 1–1 4–0 3–1 3–1 2–0 2–0 1–1 2–0 1–1 2–0 1–1 4–0 1–3 3–1 2–2 3–1 2–0 2–2 2–0
New Jersey 3–1 2–2 3–0 2–1 0–2 2–0 2–2 2–0 1–1 1–3 2–0 0–2 0–2 2–3 1–3 1–1 2–1 3–1 4–0 3–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 0–2 2–0 2–2 1–1 4–0
New Orleans 2–2 4–0 2–2 1–3 0–2 1–1 3–1 2–0 0–2 2–2 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–3 3–1 0–2 1–2 1–2 4–0 2–2 1–1 2–0 0–2 1–1 0–2 1–3 1–1 3–1
New York 3–0 3–1 2–2 0–4 0–2 1–1 1–3 0–2 0–2 1–3 1–1 0–2 1–1 3–1 2–2 1–1 1–3 2–1 3–1 3–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 3–1 0–2 4–0
Orlando 3–1 1–3 1–3 1–2 0–2 1–1 1–3 1–1 0–2 1–3 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–4 1–3 0–2 0–4 0–4 1–3 2–2 1–1 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–2 1–2 1–1 4–0
Philadelphia 2–1 1–3 4–0 1–3 1–1 0–2 2–2 1–1 0–2 0–4 1–1 1–1 0–2 3–1 1–2 1–1 1–3 2–2 1–3 2–2 1–1 1–1 0–2 2–0 1–1 1–3 0–2 2–2
Phoenix 1–1 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–3 0–4 0–2 2–2 3–1 0–2 1–3 1–3 2–2 1–1 1–1 0–4 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 2–2 1–3 0–4 2–2 0–2 1–3 1–1
Portland 2–0 2–0 2–0 1–1 1–3 0–4 0–2 2–2 1–3 1–1 2–2 2–2 2–2 2–0 1–1 3–1 2–0 0–2 1–1 2–0 1–1 2–2 3–1 0–4 2–2 1–1 2–2 1–1
Sacramento 2–0 1–1 2–0 2–0 1–3 2–2 2–0 2–2 4–0 2–0 4–0 3–1 2–2 1–1 1–1 1–3 1–1 2–0 1–1 2–0 2–0 3–1 1–3 2–2 3–1 2–0 3–1 1–1
San Antonio 1–1 2–0 2–0 1–1 1–3 3–1 1–1 2–2 4–0 1–1 3–1 1–3 1–3 2–0 1–1 2–2 2–0 1–1 2–0 2–0 0–2 4–0 4–0 2–2 4–0 2–0 4–0 2–0
Seattle 1–1 1–1 2–0 0–2 1–3 2–2 1–1 1–3 3–1 0–2 4–0 1–3 3–1 0–2 2–0 1–3 0–2 2–0 1–1 2–0 1–1 2–2 2–2 1–3 0–4 1–1 1–3 1–1
Toronto 3–1 1–3 0–4 3–1 1–1 2–0 1–3 1–1 1–1 0–4 1–1 0–2 0–2 1–2 1–3 0–2 2–2 3–1 1–3 2–1 3–1 2–0 1–1 0–2 0–2 1–1 1–1 1–3
Utah 2–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 2–2 1–3 1–1 2–2 2–2 0–2 3–1 1–3 3–1 1–1 1–1 2–2 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–1 2–0 3–1 2–2 1–3 0–4 3–1 1–1 1–1
Washington 2–2 1–3 3–1 2–2 1–1 0–2 0–3 1–1 0–2 1–2 2–0 0–2 0–2 0–4 1–3 0–2 0–4 1–3 0–4 0–4 2–2 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 3–1 1–1

PlayoffsEdit

West First RoundEdit

(2) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (7) Houston Rockets: Lakers win series 4–1

Last Playoff Meeting: 1999 Western Conference First Round (Los Angeles won 3-1)

West Conference SemifinalsEdit

 
The Lakers playing against the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals at the SBC Center.

(2) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (3) San Antonio Spurs: Lakers win series 4–2

Last Playoff Meeting: 2003 Western Conference Semifinals (San Antonio won 4-2)

West Conference FinalsEdit

(1) Minnesota Timberwolves vs. (2) Los Angeles Lakers: Lakers win series 4–2

Last Playoff Meeting: 2003 Western Conference First Round (Los Angeles won 4-2)

NBA FinalsEdit

Series SummaryEdit

Team/Game 1 2 (OT) 3 4 5 Wins
Los Angeles (West) 75 99 68 80 87 1
Detroit (East) 87 91 88 88 100 4
  • (OT) denotes a game that required overtime.

The Finals were played using a 2-3-2 site format, where the first two and last two games are held at the team with home court advantage. This is only used in the Finals, all other playoff games are held in a 2-2-1-1-1 format (the team with home court advantage starts).[6]

AspectsEdit

The Lakers had a lineup of stars such as Karl Malone, Gary Payton, Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O'Neal - their offensive capability was expected to overpower Detroit's defensive-based gameplan.

Payton and Malone also added to the publicity of the Finals. Perennial All-Stars who had both previously reached the Finals, Payton had led the Seattle SuperSonics there in 1996, while Malone had led the Utah Jazz there in 1997 and 1998.[7] However, Michael Jordan and the Bulls denied them championship rings a total of three times. By the time of Jordan's retirement in 2003, the two veterans were aged and failed to lead their teams deep into the playoffs.[7][8] Thus, this Finals series was seen as the last chance for two of the greatest players in NBA history to finally become NBA champions (Later on, Malone retired while Payton became a champion as a key bench player for the Miami Heat).

Game OneEdit

Sunday, June 6, 2004, 14:30 at the Staples Center.

Considered to be a stunning upset by most of the NBA world, the Detroit Pistons managed to defeat the Lakers with imposing defense.[9] Defensively clamping down on everyone but Bryant and O'Neal, the Pistons managed to hold everyone else to a total of 16 points.

The Pistons trailed the Lakers 41–40 at halftime, but a 10–4 surge capped by Billups's 3-pointer gave the Pistons the lead. O'Neal's foul trouble furthered the scoring gap, with the Pistons leading by 13 points early in the fourth quarter.

Box Score

Team 1st Qt. 2nd Qt. 3rd Qt. 4th Qt. Total
Detroit 22 18 24 23 87
Los Angeles 19 22 17 17 75

Game TwoEdit

Tuesday, June 8, 2004, 15:04 at the Staples Center.

The second game was close throughout the first half, but in the third quarter Detroit would score 30 points, cutting the deficit 68–66. However, at the end of the fourth quarter, Kobe Bryant's 3-point shot at 2.1 seconds to go would tie the game at 89–89. The Lakers and Pistons would then go to overtime, with the Lakers outscoring the Pistons 10–2.

Box Score

Team 1st Qt. 2nd Qt. 3rd Qt. 4th Qt. OT Total
Detroit 16 20 30 23 2 91
Los Angeles 18 26 24 21 10 99

Game ThreeEdit

Thursday, June 10, 2004, 14:31 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

The Pistons beat Los Angeles by 20 in their first NBA Finals appearance together at The Palace of Auburn Hills since 1989[10] to take a 2–1 lead in the series. The 68 points scored by the Lakers set a franchise record for the fewest number of points scored in a playoff game. Previous night, a group of overzealous Pistons fans made it difficult for the Lakers to get their rest by harassing them until 4am at their hotel in nearby Birmingham. Fans were screaming outside the building until management at the hotel called the police.[11]

Box Score

Team 1st Qt. 2nd Qt. 3rd Qt. 4th Qt. Total
Los Angeles 16 16 19 17 68
Detroit 24 15 24 25 88

Game FourEdit

Sunday, June 13, 2004, 14:49 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Again, the Pistons defeated the Lakers, although this time by eight, to take a 3–1 series advantage.

Box Score

Team 1st Qt. 2nd Qt. 3rd Qt. 4th Qt. Total
Los Angeles 22 17 17 24 80
Detroit 21 20 15 32 88

Game FiveEdit

Tuesday, June 15, 2004, 14:32 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

In Game 5, the Pistons won their first championship since 1990, and Larry Brown finally won his title. The Pistons defense had overcome the high-scoring Laker offense, winning the game by 13, winning the series 4-1, and also ending a long Laker dynasty that lasted for many years. The game saw the end of Phil Jackson's first run as the coach (he returned for the 2005-06 season), and saw O'Neal, Payton, and Malone's last games in Laker uniforms (O'Neal and Payton were both acquired by the soon-to-be NBA Champions Miami Heat and Malone retired).

Box Score

Team 1st Qt. 2nd Qt. 3rd Qt. 4th Qt. Total
Los Angeles 24 21 14 28 87
Detroit 25 30 27 18 100

Player statsEdit

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game

SeasonEdit

PlayoffsEdit

Award winnersEdit

TransactionsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ 2003-04 Los Angeles Lakers
  2. ^ "Lakers Sign Free Agents Gary Payton and Karl Malone". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. July 16, 2003. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  3. ^ Lazenby, Roland (2006). The Show: The Inside Story of the Spectacular Los Angeles Lakers in the Words of Those Who Lived It. New York, New York: McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 422. ISBN 978-0-07-143034-0. 
  4. ^ DuPree, David (May 4, 2004). "Changing of guard not easy". USA Today. Archived from the original on November 7, 2012. 
  5. ^ Adande, J. A. (November 6, 2012). "West Side: Mike Brown's O is working". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on November 7, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Basketball: NBA Playoffs 2007 preview". betinf.com. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  7. ^ a b "Utah Jazz". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2007-09-04. 
  8. ^ "Seattle Supersonics". CBS Sports. Archived from the original on 26 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-04. 
  9. ^ "Billups, Pistons Swipe Home-Court Advantage". NBA. Retrieved 2007-09-04. Led by their trademark daunting defense 
  10. ^ "DETROIT PISTONS HISTORY". Basketball Tickets. Archived from the original on 6 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  11. ^ Press, From Associated (2004-06-13). "Lakers Facing Uphill Battle". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-02-13. 

External linksEdit