Finish: Lost in the Finals to the Detroit Pistons
Standout Players: Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Karl Malone, Gary Payton
Going into the 2003-04 season, the Los Angeles Lakers had one of the most intimidating starting lineups that sported a total of 53 All-Star appearances. Shaquille O'Neal, Karl Malone and Rick Fox in the frontcourt and Kobe Bryant and Gary Payton in the backcourt. During the season, the Lakers played as expected, going 56-26 and grabbing the second seed in the Western Conference. The Lakers coasted through the playoffs until they met the Detroit Pistons in the Finals, who won the series 4-1. At the conclusion of the season, the Lakers supposed "Dream Team" was dismantled, leaving only Kobe Bryant with the likes of Chris Mihm and Chucky Atkins. Yikes!