Shaquille O'Neal has won a total of four NBA titles, and he has Robert Horry to thank for a couple of those. The legendary big man once gave props to his past teammate, acknowledging that his shooting was key to two the Lakers' two NBA titles. However, O'Neal probably should have stopped short of saying that his former teammate "deserves to be in the Hall of Fame."
"Big Shot Bob saved my ass in two championships out of three with his shooting,'' O'Neal said. "I think he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. He doesn't have big numbers, but he hit a lot of important shots, shots that if he doesn't make, a lot of guys can't claim, 'I have a ring.' Including me."
Saved a few other asses
Horry indeed had a hand in the Los Angeles Lakers' three-peat in the early 2000s. His clutch shots saved the day for the franchise multiple times.
Perhaps his most famous shot came on May 26, 2002. With Los Angeles trailing by two points and on the verge of going down 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals, the 6-foot-10 forward found himself at the top of the key with the ball. He swished the 3-point buzzer-beater, giving the Lakers the win.
In the 1995 Finals, the then-Rockets forward connected on a game-winning jump shot in Game 1 and a dagger 3 in Game 3, helping Houston and Hakeem Olajuwon sweep the O'Neal-led Orlando Magic. Those clutch plays helped develop Horry's "Big Shot" reputation in the Association.
Tim Duncan, another all-time great, also has Horry to thank for two of his five NBA championships. During the Spurs' title runs in 2005 and 2007, Horry also displayed his clutch genes.
In Game 5 of the 2005 Finals, the Spurs were trailing the Detroit Pistons 95-93 when the Maryland native hit a 3-pointer with 5.9 seconds left to give San Antonio the overtime win and a 3-2 series lead.
Still not Hall of Fame material
Despite helping save three (mini-)dynasties, stating that Horry is a Hall of Famer is too much of a stretch. None of his accolades scream "Hall of Fame," as he never made it to the All-Star Game, didn't make any All-NBA or All-Defensive teams, and failed to earn any individual award.
In addition, his career averages are only 7.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game. Not even Draymond Green is a lock to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and the Warriors' forward has better career numbers and more individual accolades.
Even so, Horry is likely not sweating about it. After all, he owns seven championship rings, the most of any player who wasn't a part of the Boston Celtics dynasty in the 1950s and 60s.