After the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty during the 90s, the Los Angeles Lakers took over as the best team in the NBA.

Chicago’s head coach Phil Jackson transferred to Hollywood and he transformed the Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant combination into a championship machine. But while Shaq and Kobe carried the load for the Lakers during their three-peat run from 2000-02, they couldn’t have done it without the help of role players who contributed valuably to the Lakers’ success.

Here are the Top 10 role players who played with the Lakers from 2000-02:

Basketball 10. A.C. Green

The only remnant of the Magic Johnson era, A.C. Green played well into his late years and was part of the Lakers’ 2000 title team. Green was part of Showtime’s back to back title run in 1987 and 1988 but signed with the Phoenix Suns as a free agent in 1993. After he was traded to the Mavericks, Green returned to Los Angeles in 1999 where he helped Shaq and Kobe win their first NBA ring.

Green was already 36-years old at that time but he still managed to play an average of 23.5 minutes per game while being the team’s third-best rebounder at 5.9 rebounds per game while also contributing 5.0 points per game that season. His veteran experience and leadership would help the Lakers beat tough teams like the Kings, Suns, and Blazers on their way to knocking off the Pacers for the 2000 NBA title.

Basketball 9. Tyronn Lue

The Lakers acquired Tyronn Lue’s rights from the Denver Nuggets who picked him 23rd overall in 1998. Los Angeles shipped guard Nick Van Exel for Lue and Tony Battie. However, Lue suffered injuries during his three years with the Lakers. He played in a total of 23 regular-season games during his first two seasons and only 38 games during the 2001 season.

However, Lue played a big role in the 2001 NBA Finals as Phil Jackson used Lue’s quickness to help neutralize Allen Iverson. Although Iverson would score 48 points in a Game 1 upset and famously stepped over Lue during the game, Lue’s defense would help the Lakers win the next four games of the series as the Lakers won back to back NBA titles. Lue won two NBA titles with the Lakers.

Basketball 8. Ron Harper

Ron Harper started his career as a superstar for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Who picked him 8th overall in the 1986 NBA draft. Harper was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers during his fourth NBA season and he became a legit star with the Clippers. Harper left L.A. and signed with the Bulls after Michael Jordan’s retirement. He would go on to become a part of the Bulls’ three-peat team from 1996-98.

After he was released by the Bulls in 2000, Harper re-joined Phil Jackson and signed with the Los Angeles Lakers where he would win back to back titles in 2000 and 2001. During the 2000 season, he averaged 7.0 points per game and ranked behind Kobe Bryant in steals. He would start all 23 playoff games and averaged 8.6 points per game including a 21 point game in Game 2 when Kobe Bryant got injured.

Basketball 7. Horace Grant

Horace Grant was another former Chicago Bull that the Lakers signed after the Chicago Dynasty. Grant was Chicago’s 10th overall pick in 1987 and played a key role alongside Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen during the Bulls’ first three-peat from 1991-93. He became an All-Star in 1994 when MJ retired but he left to sign as a free agent with the Orlando Magic. He found his way to the Lakers during the Glen Rice trade.

Grant played only one season with the Lakers but he was one of the key players on the Lakers’ 2001 championship team. Grant played in 77 regular-season games while averaging 8.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. He started in 16 playoff games and contributed 6.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game for the Lakers’ 2001 title team.

Basketball 6. Devean George

Devean George was a homegrown talent of the Lakers who drafted him 23rd overall during the 1999 NBA draft. George was Rick Fox’s back-up and he was known for his outside shooting, tough defense, and hustle. He played with the Lakers until 2006 and was a fan-favorite because he was the ultimate team player who would do anything that was asked of him.

During the Lakers’ 2002 title run, George played in all 82 regular-season games while playing 21.5 valuable minutes on the basketball court. He averaged 7.1 points and 3.7 rebounds while shooting 37.1% from behind the three-point arc. His average dipped to 5.0 points and 3.6 rebounds per game during the playoffs but he was able to deliver every time he was inside the court.

Basketball 5. Brian Shaw

Brian Shaw was the Boston Celtics’ 24th overall pick in 1988. He joined the Lakers in 1999, following former Orlando Magic teammate Shaquille O’Neal to Tinseltown. He was a back-up to Kobe Bryant and played in all 22 playoff games during the 2000 season. In Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers, Shaw hit back to back triples that fueled the Lakers’ rally.

Los Angeles would go on to win that game and the NBA Finals. That Game 7 comeback is considered the birth of the Lakers dynasty and Shaw played a key role in that game. Shaw also started in Game 3 of the 2000 NBA Finals with Kobe injured and he held his own as the Lakers won that game and the series. He would back-up Kobe until 2003 when he retired.

Basketball 4. Glen Rice

Glen Rice was the first superstar of the Miami Heat franchise. He was Miami’s 4th overall pick in the 1989 NBA Draft and was the 1995 Three-Point shooting champion. Rice joined the Charlotte Hornets in a trade for Alonzo Mourning and he became a three-time All-Star with the Hornets. He was traded to the Lakers in 1999 for Eddie Jones and Elden Campbell.

Rice would be the missing link for the Lakers. He would become the third scorer behind O’Neal and Bryant with his three-point shooting proving to be the final piece of the championship puzzle. They didn’t win yet in his first season with the team in 1999 but during the 2000 season, everything fell in place. Rice started in 80 regular-season games and averaged 15.9 points per game as the team’s third option. However, he was traded to the Knicks in 2001.

Basketball 3. Rick Fox

Rick Fox was another former Boston Celtic who found success in Hollywood. Fox was the Celtics’ 24th overall pick in 1991 and played with the team until 1997 when he signed with the Lakers. Fox was L.A.’s starting small forward until Glen Rice came along in 1999. The Canadian backed up Rice for two seasons and reclaimed the starting job after Rice was traded.

Fox hit a crucial three-pointer in Game 6 of the 2000 NBA Finals as the Lakers clinched their first title. Fox started when rice left in 2001 and he averaged 9.6 points per game while shooting 39% from behind the three-point area. Fox scored 20 points in the series-clinching Game 5 of the 2001 NBA Finals. The following season, Fox scored 13 points in Game 7 of the Lakers’ series against the Sacramento Kings.

Basketball 2. Derek Fisher

Derek Fisher was the Lakers’ 24th overall pick in 1996 and he played 13 solid seasons in two tour of duties with Los Angeles. Fisher was always one of Phil Jackson’s most reliable players but he shone brightly during the 2001 playoffs when the Lakers won 16 straight playoff games while sweeping their way to the Western Conference title. Fisher averaged 13.4 points and shot 51% from the three-point area during that period. He shot 6-8 from three-point distance in the title-clinching Game 5 of the 2001 NBA Finals.

In 2002, Fisher continued to be the team’s key three-point threat. He averaged in double figures and hit over 40% from deep. He started all 19 playoff games and averaged 10.2 points per game as the Lakers defeated the New Jersey Nets to win their third straight NBA title. He would leave for Golden State and then Utah but returned to Los Angeles in 2007 to win two more titles with the Lakers.

Basketball 1. Robert Horry

There is no doubt that the best reserve on the Lakers’ three-peat team was Robert Horry. Big Shot Bob is considered one of the best clutch shooters in the history of the game and is one of the best playoff performers in the history of the NBA. Horry is a seven-time champion and one of the only players to win an NBA championship with three different teams and the only one to win at least two with three different teams.

Horry was the Houston Rockets’ 11th overall pick in 1992 and played a key role in Houston’s back to back title teams. He played for the Suns for a season but was traded to the Lakers after his altercation with then-head coach Danny Ainge. Horry averaged 7.6 points and 5.4 rebounds during the 2000 NBA Finals. Horry hit many big shots again in 2001 but none bigger than his buzzer-beater in Game 4 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals. With the Lakers facing the prospect of going to Sacramento with a 2-2 tie, Horry hit a game-winner from top of the key to help the Lakers tie the series 2-2. L.A. would go on to win the series in six games.

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