1997–98 Los Angeles Lakers season

The 1997–98 NBA season was the Lakers' 50th season in the National Basketball Association, and 38th in the city of Los Angeles. During the offseason, the Lakers signed free agents Rick Fox and Jon Barry. Kobe Bryant emerged as a star in his second season averaging 15.4 points per game off the bench, while being selected to play in the 1998 NBA All-Star Game at the age of 19. Joining him on the Western Conference All-Star roster were Shaquille O'Neal, Eddie Jones and Nick Van Exel. The Lakers got off to a fast start to the season winning their first eleven games, before losing O'Neal to a strained stomach muscle that forced him to sit out 20 games. In his absence, the Lakers went 13–7. They won 22 of their final 25 games to tie the Pacific Division title with the Seattle SuperSonics with a 61–21 record. It was the Lakers' best record since the 1989–90 season.

In the playoffs, the Lakers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 3–1 in the first round for the second consecutive year, then defeated the SuperSonics 4–1 in the semifinals after losing Game 1. However, in the Western Conference Finals, they were swept by the Utah Jazz in four straight games. Following the season, Van Exel was traded to the Denver Nuggets, and Barry signed as a free agent with the Sacramento Kings.

Draft picks

Roster

Roster listing
1997–98 Los Angeles Lakers roster
PlayersCoaches
Pos.No.NameHeightWeightDOB (YYYY-MM-DD)From
SG20Barry, Jon6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)195 lb (88 kg)1969–07–25Georgia Tech
PF23Bennett, Mario6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)235 lb (107 kg)1973–08–01Arizona State
PF43Blount, Corie6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)240 lb (109 kg)1969–01–04Cincinnati
SG8Bryant, Kobe6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)205 lb (93 kg)1978–08–23Lower Merion HS
C41Campbell, Elden6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)215 lb (98 kg)1968–07–23Clemson
PG2Fisher, Derek6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)210 lb (95 kg)1974–08–09Arkansas-Little Rock
SF17Fox, Rick6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)230 lb (104 kg)1969–07–24North Carolina
PF5Horry, Robert6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)220 lb (100 kg)1970–08–25Alabama
SG6Jones, Eddie6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)190 lb (86 kg)1971–10–20Temple
C34O'Neal, Shaquille7 ft 1 in (2.16 m)325 lb (147 kg)1972–03–06LSU
C45Rooks, Sean6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)250 lb (113 kg)1969–09–09Arizona
SG24Seals, Shea Injured6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)210 lb (95 kg)1975–08–26Tulsa
PG9Van Exel, Nick6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)170 lb (77 kg)1971–11–27Cincinnati
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

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

Roster
Last transaction: 1997–09–22

Regular season

Season standings


Record vs. opponents

Game log

Playoffs

West first round

(3) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (6) Portland Trail Blazers Last playoff meeting: 1997 Western Conference First Round (Los Angeles won 3–1)

West Conference Semifinals

(2) Seattle SuperSonics vs. (3) Los Angeles Lakers Last playoff meeting: 1995 Western Conference First Round (Los Angeles won 3–1)

West Conference Finals

(1) Utah Jazz vs. (3) Los Angeles Lakers Last playoff meeting: 1997 Western Conference Semifinals (Utah won 4–0)

Player statistics

Legend
  GPGames 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

Season

Playoffs

Awards and records

Awards

All-Star

Weekly and monthly

  • Shaquille O'Neal was named NBA Player of the Week for games played from November 9 through November 15.
  • Eddie Jones was named NBA Player of the Month for November.
  • Shaquille O'Neal was named NBA Player of the Month for January.
  • Shaquille O'Neal was named NBA Player of the Week for games played from March 15 to March 21.
  • Shaquille O'Neal was named NBA Player of the Month for April.
  • Del Harris was named NBA Coach of the Month for April.

Transactions

External links

Uses material from the Wikipedia article 1997–98 Los Angeles Lakers season, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.