Kobe Bryant was determined to bring the Larry O'Brien Trophy back to Los Angeles
and show that he could win it all without Shaquille O'Neal after his team's 2008 NBA championship loss to the Boston Celtics.
Years of that kind of abuse were endured by him, and as the Los Angeles Lakers reached the NBA Finals again in 2008–09
and finished the season 65–17, it appeared as though he was going to put his detractors to rest.
Bryant eventually had his shot in Game 5 of the championship series against the Orlando Magic.
After a crucial victory in Game 4, the Lakers were up 3-1 in the series, and Orlando had almost no fight left.