Lakers Celebration Dance

At the 2001 Lakers parade, Shaquille O’Neal grabbed the mic and the entire team started dancing including Mark Madsen. Unfortunately, the rhythm wasn’t there. This was the season that the Lakers lost only one game during the playoff run. The single game the Lakers lost was to the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA finals.

The next season the LA Lakers easily dispatched the New Jersey nets to win another championship. This time Chick Hearn invited him to do the dance again. Still with no rhythm, Madsen took one for for the team. In the 2002 speech and parade, Kobe had his back once the dance started.

The main thing that Madsen remembers from this time was the camraderie of the team and the togetherness that was experienced by every member of the Lakers. After the Lakers won two championships in a row, the two parades became incredibly memorable largely because of the huge personalities on the team which included Rick Fox, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.

to this day, Madsen often speaks about how he will be walking through an airport or some other large event and someone will come up to him and reference the parade and the memories of the team up there celebrating together as a group and getting down. No other team celebration resembled the togetherness that the Lakers exhibited during those years. Even Madsen himself often wonders how the team was able to pull out three championships in a row. “Even though I was only part of two of the three championships, it was an honor to play a small role. Phil Jackson was the key to getting everyone to play together. I loved playing with Shaquille. Playing with Kobe taught me so very much about the game of basketball. I wanted to be focused.