2002–03 Los Angeles Lakers season

The 2002–03 NBA season was the Lakers' 55th season in the National Basketball Association, and 43rd in the city of Los Angeles. The Lakers entered the season as the three-time defending champions, having defeated the New Jersey Nets in four straight games in the 2002 NBA Finals, winning their fourteenth NBA championship. With All-Star center Shaquille O'Neal sidelined after an off-season foot-surgery, the Lakers started 3–9. After he returned, the team only improved slowly, having an 11–19 record thirty games into the season, their worst start in ten years. However, the Lakers won 11 of their final 13 games ending the season with a 50–32 record, finishing fifth in the Western Conference. The season saw co-captain Kobe Bryant play all 82 games for the first time in his career. He and Shaq were selected to play in the 2003 NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta.

Facing an uphill battle without home-court advantage, the Lakers managed to beat the 4th-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves in the opening round of the playoffs, but fell to the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs in the conference semifinals. Following the season, Robert Horry signed as a free agent with the San Antonio Spurs, Mark Madsen signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Samaki Walker signed with the Miami Heat, and Brian Shaw retired.

The season was overshadowed by the death of longtime Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn, who died after a fall in the summer of 2002, and to pay tribute, the Lakers donned an alternate white uniform, which can be only worn on Christmas and Sunday home games. The uniforms made its debut in a home loss against the Sacramento Kings on Christmas Day. They were designed by late owner Jerry Buss' daughter, who is now the controlling owner and president of the Los Angeles Lakers, Jeanie.

Draft picks


Roster listing
Los Angeles Lakers roster
Pos.No.NameHeightWeightDOB (YYYY-MM-DD)From
SG8Bryant, Kobe6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)205 lb (93 kg)1978–08–23Lower Merion HS
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
SF3George, Devean6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)235 lb (107 kg)1977–08–29Augsburg
PF5Horry, Robert6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)240 lb (109 kg)1970–08–25Alabama
PF35Madsen, Mark6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)240 lb (109 kg)1976–01–28Stanford
PF14Medvedenko, Slava6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)253 lb (115 kg)1979–04–04Ukraine
SF30Murray, Tracy Injured6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)225 lb (102 kg)1971–07–25UCLA
C34O'Neal, Shaquille7 ft 1 in (2.16 m)325 lb (147 kg)1972–03–06LSU
PG12Pargo, Jannero6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)175 lb (79 kg)1979–10–22Arkansas
PG21Rush, Kareem6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)200 lb (91 kg)1980–10–30Missouri
SG20Shaw, Brian6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)190 lb (86 kg)1966–03–22UC Santa Barbara
F/C52Walker, Samaki6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)250 lb (113 kg)1976–02–25Louisville
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

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

Last transaction: 2002–12–06

Regular season

Season standings

z - clinched division title
y - clinched division title
x - clinched playoff spot

Record vs. opponents

Game log


West First Round

(4) Minnesota Timberwolves vs. (5) Los Angeles Lakers Last Playoff Meeting: This is the first meeting between the Timberwolves and Lakers.

West Conference Semifinals

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (5) Los Angeles Lakers Last Playoff Meeting: 2002 Western Conference Semifinals (Los Angeles won 4-1)

Player statistics

  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

Regular season


Awards and records


Uses material from the Wikipedia article 2002–03 Los Angeles Lakers season, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.