Lakers forward Robert Horry, one of our NBA.commentators for NBA Playoffs 2001, answered questions from fans after practice between Games 2 and 3 against the Blazers. The Lakers won the Western Conference first-round series 3-0.
What made you keep your cool when Dale Davis gave you a cheap shot?
I think because it's playoff time. It's very important for every player to stay in the game. I realized that with that kind of foul they (the refs) wouild probably toss him, and they'll probably suspend him for another game, so there was no need for us to lose a player also.
Did Davis really catch you that hard with his elbow in Game 2?Â Or did you "flop" a bit to make sure the refs saw it, and then realize he had intentionally done it? It was obviously a cheap shot on his part, but it didn't look like you got pissed until you realized he was trying to hurt you.
San Diego, Calif.
I didn't get mad until I sat there because when he did it, I saw it coming, so I was able to avoid it a little bit. Then I realized, he threw that at my face and then it dawned on me and I got mad. It's kind of like a boiling point, it rolls and rolls and rolls. He got in my face, and then I kind of got mad. I didn't pay any attention until I sat on the floor and had time to think about it.
I didn't get a chance to see the game, I had to go to school on Thursday. However, I did read an article online and thought your comment was really cool. I know most players do have friendships with players from other teams and in some cases tempers flare. Do you find it harder to keep your cool in those types of situations with players you know well?
The best of friends get into it sometimes and it's just one of those situations that happens. I don't have anything against them or hold grudges. It happens. It happens in practice with players you're friends with. Sometimes in the heat of the battle you want to win so bad that things happen that you don't really mean.
Mr. Horry, I've watched the NBA for years, mostly Laker games. I've never seen anyone who seems as relaxed and at ease on the court as you. Most players get very tense, even the all-time greats that I've watched rarely seemed as completely at peace as you do. What's your secret? How do you stay so relaxed and loose on a court of men who are often so tense that they trip all over themselves trying to win games?
I think it goes back to when I was a litlle kid. I used to get upset when I used to lose at everything, playing marbles, cards, checkers. I used to throw stuff (when I would lose). I think my mother told me to calm down and just have fun at what I was doing. I think when I got to high school, and it was at that point when my high school coach told me to calm down. Every person I've been with just told me to keep my cool, and over the years I just learned how to go out there and just try not to get riled up because you think more clearly when you're not riled up.
Are the feuds in the Lakers long gone? Or just set aside to do a job successfully (winning the title)?
There were never any feuds. It was more media hype trying to do something to try and knock us off our throne. So many people go out there and they want to have something to talk about. It's amazing how much people like negative press. They talk more about the negative than about the positive. There was never anything negative about our team. It was just situations where guys felt like they were trying to establish their game. It really came from you can't have the two big dogs taking all the shots. They just have to realize that we've got two big dogs and everyone should get equal number of shots and have fun doing it.
As a long Laker fan I would like to know how different the team attitude was entering these year's playoffs. Is there more confidence knowing that you are the world champions or does make it more difficult knowing that now everyone has higher expectations for how far the team goes this year?
It's so much harder because there are so many things coming at you. The press are coming at you wanting to know if you can do it again. You have other teams trying to de-throne you. I thinks it's all mental aspects. You've got to be really mentally focused and keep all those outside forces from bothering you. You just have to say, hey, we've got a job to do, let's do it.
How is it different for you trying to repeat with the Lakers then it was with Rockets? Also, how do you compare the quality of the two squads?
Thanks and kick some butt!!!
It's going to be harder for us, the Laker team, beacuse all year we've been known as quote, the top dog. When I was in Houston, the second year we repeated, we were the sixth (ranked) team. Nobody cared about us because we got hurt, and we finished sixth. We got a trade with Clyde, and Clyde didn't really get into the rhythm, and then all of a sudden we got our rhythm in the playoffs. It is a big difference, where this season, we won the Pacific Division. People are looking for us to do big things. I think it's going ot be harder for us to repeast this year because every team we will potentially be playing, we knocked out in the playoffs, so they're going to have the revenge factor.
How will Phil Jackson prepare the Lakers for Game 3 at Portland?
The guys (Trailblazers) are going to be coming at us hard. They know the best they can do is try to get easy baskets. If we can cut down their easy baskets and keep their crowd out of it, we have an excellent chance of winning. Without their crowd in the game, Portland does't really play that well at home. When their crowd gets behind them, they play well at home. So, if we keep the crowd out of it and just keep ourselves within two to three points without letting them run. They're going to have a run because they're at home and they have thier backs agains the wall. They're going to make a run, so we just have to be patient. We have to go out and do our thing and not let the crowd get to us, and be patient basically.