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Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant’s three-peat wouldn’t be possible if $20 million man didn’t ‘throw a towel’

Akash Murty

Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant's three-peat wouldn't be possible if $20 million man didn't ‘throw a towel’

Former Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant teammate made his way to the Lakers’ dynasty after he threw a towel at his coach Danny Ainge’s face.

Robert Horry is arguably the most crucial if not the biggest ever role player in NBA history, who helped three different franchises win multiple championships. He has some of the most clutch shots in league history which resulted in his teams winning championships.

Popular by “Big Shot Bob,” Robert played a considerable role in the legends like Hakeem Olajuwon, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and Tim Duncan winning at least two of their multiple rings.

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In his 16-year NBA career where he averaged just 7 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists playing mostly off the bench, the man was always in the right spot at right time to nail several Playoff-series and title-winning shots.

But his three championships with Kobe and Shaq certainly never would never have happened had he not thrown a towel at the face of his Suns’ head coach face in the middle of a game.

Also read: Lakers Head Coach Darvin Ham, with LeBron James’ agreement, plans to run team offense through Anthony Davis


Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant might have missed out on a championship or two if Big Shot Bob didn’t throw a towel at Danny Ainge’s face

On his Big Shot Bob Podcast, Robert discussed how infuriated he was when he went from helping “The Dream” and Houston Rockets win their two straight championships in 95’ and 96’ to a good-for-nothing Phoenix Suns team which traded its only great player Charles Barkley in exchange for him. And also his hatred for the Head Coach.

“I hated Danny Ainge, I’m not even gonna lie. I hated him,” Horry said. “Mario Elie is one of my good friends, and in one of the playoff games, he took the ball out — Danny Ange was a pitcher — he hit Mario in the face with the ball on purpose.”

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As the 10-21 Suns travelled to Boston to play the Celtics, with just over 7 minutes left in regulation and the Cs up 89-84, Ainge pulled Horry out after the forward tried draining a wild three-point shot that was nowhere close to going in.

Frustrated, Horry confronted his coach with expletives, while a few teammates tried to pull him away. After Ainge and Horry went back and forth for a bit, the angry 6’11 forward took off the towel around his neck and threw it at his coach. He received a two-game suspension, apologized to his team afterwards, and never played another game for the Suns.

That in turn came as a blessing for him because he was traded to the Lakers, with whom he’d play an important role in forming a dynasty. So, we can conclude Shaq and Kobe might have had a ring or two less if that whole scene in Boston never happened.

Also read: “What Danny Ainge was able to get for Rudy Gobert is a crime”: $13M Golfer Tony Finau hilariously calls out his friend for ruining NBA

About the author

Akash Murty

Akash Murty


An Electrical and Electronics Engineer by degree, Akash Murty is an NBA Editor at The SportsRush. Previously a Software Engineer, Murty couldn’t keep himself away from sports, and his knack for writing and putting his opinion forward brought him to the TSR. A big Soccer enthusiast, his interest in basketball developed late, as he got access to a hoop for the first time at 17. Following this, he started watching basketball at the 2012 Olympics, which transitioned to NBA, and he became a fan of the game as he watched LeBron James dominate the league. Him being an avid learner of the game and ritually following the league for around a decade, he now writes articles ranging from throwbacks, and live game reports, to gossip. LA Lakers are his favourite basketball team, while Chelsea has his heart in football. He also likes travelling, reading fiction, and sometimes cooking.

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