What If Kings Had Won 2002 Western Conference Finals Game 4 Vs. Lakers?

The Kings have had unfinished business for nearly 20 years. Ask any Kings fan and they'll take you back to the 2002 Western Conference finals between Sacramento and the archrival Los Angeles Lakers, when the Kings could and should have won the NBA title.

From referee controversy to food poisoning conspiracy theories, this David vs. Goliath matchup had it all. At the center of the series was Robert Horry's game-winner in Game 4.

Up two points in the closing seconds, the Kings had a chance to take a three-games-to-one series lead going back to Sacramento. After both Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal missed game-tying shots, Kings center Vlade Divac tipped the ball out to an open Horry, who hit the game-winning 3-pointers for the Lakers.

"Anybody could have made that shot," Divac said after the loss. "It's a lucky shot that's all."

"It wasn't no luck shot. I've been doing that all my career," Horry, the seven-time NBA champion, said postgame. "He should know. He should read in the paper or something."

The Kings went on to lose the series in seven games to the eventual champion Lakers, who completed the three-peat after sweeping the New Jersey Nets.

What if Horry never made that memorable shot? How would history have changed?

"The Kings would have went on to win the series I have no doubt," said Kings broadcaster Jerry Reynolds. "Had they won the series they would easily be the world champions because New Jersey just wasn't in the same caliber."

"I didn't think about it until I talked to Kobe a couple years ago, former Kings All-Star and current assistant general manager Peja Stojakovic said. "He said something very interesting that the way we were playing at the time if we had won that year the momentum would carry into the following year and years ahead."

"That was an era where you could have started a run right there," Kings pre and postgame host Jim Kozimor said "I think there was a chance this team could have been a multi-championship winner."

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The Kings last made the playoffs in 2006 and have the longest playoff drought in the league. 

"I always look at 2002 like the girl who got away," Kozimor said. "It's the one you always think of. No matter how long you live it's the one that got away."

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