Robert Horry is widely known as one of the greatest role players of all-time, an All-Star caliber talent who sacrificed his stats for the good of the team.
Horry is widely known for his game winner against the Sacramento Kings back in May 2002, catapulting the Lake Show to an improbable win over a team that outplayed them for much of the series.
A short three years (and one team) later, Horry spotted up on the left elbow and knocked down a legendary three against the Detroit Pistons in a winning 2005 effort.
These are just two of the greatest moments in the all-time great career of “Big Shot Bob,” but Horry’s personal favorite shot of all-time has been long forgotten by all but the most ardent Houston Rockets (and Western Conference) NBA basketball fans.
Big Shot Bob’s Biggest Moment Came as a Rookie
The shot in question came in the first year of the iconic 16-year career of Horry, during his 1992-1993 rookie season with the Houston Rockets.
Horry explained the shot recently in an interview with Rockets broadcaster Craig Ackerman, explaining why the mostly unknown shot still stands out in his mind to this very day.
“It has personal meaning to me,” Horry said. “We were playing in Seattle in Game 7, and I hit a jumper on the right wing in my first year. I hit a jumper and we went into overtime.”
It wasn’t a game-winner like so many others Horry hit during his illustrious career, but it was a monumental shot for a first year player.
“We eventually lost that game in overtime, so nobody talks about that shot. But as a confidence builder, and knowing that my teammates passed me the ball, and I took the shot. Especially with all the things that happened to me, like when I got traded from Houston (a deal that was ultimately voided according to USA Today’s Rocketswire) for not shooting the basketball.
“This is a moment where I had to believe in myself.”
Scroll ahead to the 1:20:42 mark in the video below to see the sequence unfold — a thing of pure beauty for old school NBA fans.
It all starts with a splashdown turnaround jumper from Hakeem Olajuwon, followed by a hard fought rebound and a dagger from the right elbow by Horry with just a single, solitary second left on the shot clock.
This, ladies and gentlemen, was the birth of a legend, and it was poetry in motion:
Horry was Far More Than Just a Shooter
One of the most underrated all-around players in league history, Horry was a true pioneer at the power forward position.
He could hang in the post with the best of them, drift out to the perimeter and rain threes, or even take athletic big men like David Robinson off the dribble for the throwdown, as seen in the clip below.
Strangely enough, Horry, who hails from Andalusia, Alabama by way of the Crimson Tide, never averaged more than 12 points a game.
But those who saw him play know the truth: the former seven-time NBA champion could have easily been a seven-time All-Star, but he preferred winning to stat sheet stuffing and endorsement deals.