Click here to Skip to main content
NBA HISTORY
Pat Riley
"Guaranteeing a championship was the best thing Pat ever did," reflected Lakers guard Byron Scott.
Tim DeFrisco/Getty Images Sport

Lakers make good on Riley's guarantee of repeat


Posted Mar 4 2013 4:49PM

Coach Pat Riley made good on his promise as the Lakers won back-to-back Championships in '87 and '88. The 1987-88 Los Angeles Lakers played through the season with even more pressure than usual for an NBA defending champion. At the celebration following the Lakers' 1987 title, Coach Pat Riley had guaranteed -- not predicted, but guaranteed -- a repeat championship in `88, a feat that had not been accomplished in 18 NBA seasons.

"Guaranteeing a championship was the best thing Pat ever did," reflected Lakers guard Byron Scott. "It set the stage in our minds. Work harder, be better. That's the only way we could repeat."

The Lakers marched to the NBA Finals, where they went up against the talented and hungry Detroit Pistons, who had finally gotten past rival Boston to appear in their first Finals.

The Pistons surprised the Lakers in Game 1 at the Forum and held a 3-2 lead heading back to Los Angeles following a 104-94 win before 41,732 at the Pontiac Silverdome.

But with the last two games on their home turf, the Lakers made good on Riley's brash guarantee. They survived a 25-point third-quarter explosion by Isiah Thomas, playing on a sprained ankle, no less, to take Game 6 103-102, then won Game 7 108-105 to capture their fifth championship of the 1980s.

SEARCH NEWS
LATEST VIDEOS
photoPlay of the Day: Nikola Vucevic
With 2.2 seconds on the game clock, Nikola Vucevic takes the in bounds pass and hits the turnaround, fade away jumper to beat the buzzer and win the game.
photoSefolosha From Mid-Court
Thabo Sefolosha launches the ball from behind the mid-court line and sinks the buzz beater triple to end the third quarter.
photoNightly Notable: Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo scores 14 points and hands out 15 assists versus the Celtics.
photoFebruary 7: Top 5
Check out the Top 5 Plays from Sunday's action in the NBA.
photoFebruary 7: The Fast Break
Fly through Sunday's NBA action in The Fast Break.

Copyright © NBA Media Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved. No portion of NBA.com may be duplicated, redistributed or manipulated in any form. By accessing any information beyond this page, you agree to abide by the Privacy Policy / Your California Privacy Rights and Terms of Use. | Ad Choices Ad Choices

NBA.com is part of Turner Sports Digital, part of the Turner Sports & Entertainment Digital Network.