Lindsey Hunter's sole season with the Lakers ended with his first NBA championship after nine years in the league. But his stint with the team started with a tragedy that seemed to loom over the entire season.
Around the same time Hunter was traded to the Lakers from the Milwaukee Bucks in the summer of 2001, his 19-year-old brother, Tommie, died in a car accident. Hunter started strong for the Lakers, but his numbers went down as the season went on and he eventually lost his job as starting point guard.
Times writer Tim Brown suggested that ongoing grief was affecting Hunter's game, and comments from Hunter seem to support that theory.
"For so long, basketball was my natural high," Hunter told Brown in December 2001. "I just now realize there's a lot more to life. … I've always been a hard worker and I'll never stop doing that. But, it's like I had something taken from me, and that won't go away."
Hunter finished the regular season averaging 5.8 points a game and shooting 38% from beyond the arc, statistics that dropped to 2.0 points and 28% in the playoffs. He was traded to Toronto during the off-season and spent another eight years in the league, winning a second NBA championship in 2004 as a member of the Detroit Pistons team that beat the Lakers in the NBA Finals.
Currently a player development assistant for the Chicago Bulls, Hunter is No. 50 on the NBA's all-time list for three-pointers made (152) and No. 53 for three-point attempts (407).