What's the first thought that enters your mind when you think of Robert Horry, a.k.a. Big Shot Rob?
Clutch, cold-blooded shots at the end of playoff games.
When you think of Horry draining those shots with sniper-like accuracy, what uniform do you picture him doing it in?
How about the Los Angeles Lakers, where he retrieved Vlade Divac's unsuccessful attempt to tap the ball out of the paint and run out the clock, and nails the game-winner to beat the Sacramento Kings in the 2002 western conference finals?
Now to be fair, when you go to Youtube and type in "Horry," the first thing that pops up is "horry buzzer beater vs kings." Pops up before you finish typing, actually. So it's easy to see why this image is such a lasting one.
It's been singed into our minds for over a decade now.
Robert Horry's legend was established when those plays were made. It was already grown and mature. To see where it was born and developed you have to go back farther than that, to its formative years.
You have to go back to his time in Houston. It didn't take long, either—it started in his rookie season.
Horry had been solid during his four years at Alabama, making basketball matter when it usually wasn't even an afterthought. That's an impressive accomplishment in itself. Hoops at Bama is just something to kill time between the end of football season and National Signing Day, and then bridge the gap from signing day until spring practice.
After leaving Tuscaloosa and being drafted by the Houston Rockets in 1992, he finds himself playing big minutes in the playoffs right off the bat.
Listen to the clip, you will hear a newly-retired Magic Johnson on the mic. He even makes the mistake of pronouncing Horry exactly as it's spelled.
This is how far back Robert Horry's legend goes. It was in it's infancy in 1993. The Rockets would go on to lose this game and series, but it planted the seed and got things warmed up for the contributions Horry would make for the 1994 and 1995 back-to-back championship teams.
It would have been nice to see him make all of these plays in a Rockets uniform, even the little hip check of Steve Nash in 2007. The good more than outweighed the bad with Horry.
Many times, making it in the NBA is about finding a role and specializing in it. Dennis Rodman was relentless on the boards. Bruce Bowen was an irritating defender who could make corner threes.
Robert Horry would lay low until a big shot needed to be made, and then Big Shot Rob would go to work.