Horry said he left the Lakers “with so much hatred for that team” because of how they handled his situation. He was traded to the Lakers in 1997 and was part of their three peat team from 2000–2002.
Following the 2002–03 season, Horry had the chance to opt out. He said told the team in exit meetings that he knew Los Angeles wanted Karl Malone and said he would stay for $2 million, but “they weren't interested.” From Horry's piece:
“All I asked them was to allow me to find a team before the money dried up and not to wait until the last day to release me. They told me, 'We won’t do you like that.'”
Well, they didn’t do me like that. They waited until the next to last day to release me.
Horry went on to sign with the San Antonio Spurs, where he won two more titles for a total of seven in his career.
In his piece, Horry also said that he only had one off-court conversation with head coach Phil Jackson in his time with the Lakers.
Horry also discusses playing with Kobe Bryant, who was a rookie in his first year in Los Angeles.
“Kobe’s dedication to the game is unreal,” Horry wrote. “And I mean that in the truest sense … it was literally unbelievable. The common denominator in every championship team is the mentality that Kobe has, and the mentality that Hakeem had with me at that Christmas party. You have to be so obsessed with winning that you pull no punches with your teammates, even when you’re in first place. Even when you’re a defending champ.”
- Molly Geary