1998–99 Los Angeles Lakers season
The 1998–99 NBA season was the Lakers' 51st season in the National Basketball Association, and 39th in the city of Los Angeles. It was the Lakers' final season at the Great Western Forum. During the offseason, the Lakers signed free agent Derek Harper. In his first season as a starter, Kobe Bryant finished second on the team in scoring with 19.9 points per game. At midseason, Eddie Jones and Elden Campbell were both traded to the Charlotte Hornets for All-Star forward Glen Rice, J.R. Reid and B.J. Armstrong, who was released and signed with the Orlando Magic. The Lakers move continued midway through the season, signing free agent and rebounding specialist Dennis Rodman, who was well known for winning championships with the Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Bulls. However, after 23 games, Rodman was released by the team.
The Lakers finished second in the Pacific Division with a 31–19 record in a season shortened to 50 games due to a four-month lockout. Their attendance for the season was 430,007 (12th in the league). In the playoffs, the Lakers defeated the Houston Rockets 3–1 in the Western Conference Quarterfinals, but were swept in four straight games by the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs during the Western Conference Semifinals.
Following the season, Reid signed as a free agent with the Milwaukee Bucks, Sean Rooks was traded back to the Dallas Mavericks, rookie Ruben Patterson signed with the Seattle SuperSonics, and Harper was dealt to the Detroit Pistons, but was released and then retired.
|1998–99 Los Angeles Lakers roster|
- Power forward Dennis Rodman was waived on April 16.
The Lakers went through three coaches during the season: Del Harris (6–6), Bill Bertka (1–0) and Kurt Rambis (24–13). Fourteen different Lakers started at least one game during the season. From February 25 to March 12, the Lakers won ten consecutive games. Outside of the streak, the Lakers were 21-19 in all other games. During the season, over half of the Lakers' games were televised nationally.
At season's end, the Lakers ranked second in the league in scoring at 99.0 points per game (only Sacramento averaged more points: 100.2 ppg). Despite the high scoring, the Lakers were the fourth worst Free Throw shooting team in the league with a percentage of .683. Shaquille O'Neal had a percentage of .540. Following the season, Rambis was fired as coach.
- z – clinched division title
- y – clinched division title
- x – clinched playoff spot
Record vs. opponents
West First Round
- Game 1 @ Great Western Forum, Los Angeles (May 9): Los Angeles 101, Houston 100
- Game 2 @ Great Western Forum, Los Angeles (May 11): Los Angeles 110, Houston 98
- Game 3 @ Compaq Center, Houston (May 13): Houston 100, Los Angeles 88
- Game 4 @ Compaq Center, Houston (May 15): Los Angeles 98, Houston 88
Last Playoff Meeting: 1996 Western Conference First Round (Houston won 3-1)
West Conference Semifinals
- Game 1 @ Alamodome, San Antonio (May 17): San Antonio 87, Los Angeles 81
- Game 2 @ Alamodome, San Antonio (May 19): San Antonio 79, Los Angeles 76
- Game 3 @ Great Western Forum, Los Angeles (May 22): San Antonio 103, Los Angeles 91
- Game 4 @ Great Western Forum, Los Angeles (May 23): San Antonio 118, Los Angeles 107
Last Playoff Meeting: 1995 Western Conference Semifinals (San Antonio won 4-2)
|GP||Games 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|
- Shaquille O'Neal averaged 26.3 ppg (2nd), 10.7 rpg (8th), and shot 57.6% (1st). For his efforts, he was named to the All-NBA second-team.
- Kobe Bryant had a career high 19.9 ppg and added 3.8 apg. He was recognized as an All-NBA third-team.
- Dennis Rodman played 23 games with the Lakers in 1999. He averaged 11.2 rebounds per game and the Lakers went 17-6 with Rodman in the lineup.
- Glen Rice played in 27 games with the club and averaged 17.5 points per game. With Rice in the lineup, the Lakers went 16-11
Awards and honors
- Kobe Bryant, All-NBA Third Team
- Shaquille O'Neal, All-NBA Second Team