Cover Image for 6ft 6” Kobe Bryant never let 6’11” Tim Duncan, the arguable GOAT two-way player in the NBA, one-up him and the Lakers

6ft 6” Kobe Bryant never let 6’11” Tim Duncan, the arguable GOAT two-way player in the NBA, one-up him and the Lakers

Akash Murty
|Wed Jul 27 2022

Kobe Bryant always wanted to prove himself better than Michael Jordan and Tim Duncan was his biggest obstacle in doing so.

Such was his desire that it got to a point when his own teammates would be sick of his behaviour while he was trying to get the best out of them in his own righteous way.

And after Shaquille O’Neal left in 2004 following Bryant’s criticism of him for being out of shape, a poor leader, and putting his salary demands over the best interest of the team, the Lakers found themselves looking for championship success and a star to partner up with Kobe again.

And while the team that started the 2000s with a three-peat was struggling to find its feet, Tim Duncan’s San Antonio Spurs won 3 championships in 5 years. But Kobe and his new Lakers starring Pau Gasol would come back and get their revenge soon.

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Tim Duncan, the greatest two-way player in the league since Hakeem Olajuwon, couldn’t one-up Kobe Bryant

The Spurs-Lakers rivalry started back in the 98-99 season when San Antonio would win its first-ever championship led by the 2nd year Duncan. They swept Kobe-Shaq’s Los Angeles in the conference semifinals.

The Lakers had their revenge in the two championship runs of 2001 and 02 where they knocked out Duncan Co. in early rounds. The Spurs got back at them during the ’03 championship run.

After Shaq’s departure in 2004, Kobe couldn’t lead his teams past 1st round, while Spurs had won 2 championships in 3 years until 2008. As soon as Bryant got a legitimate second star beside him in Pau Gasol at the start of 2007, things were going to turn around for the Lakers.

They would appear in three straight Finals in the next three seasons while eliminating the Spurs once in 08 and winning championships in the next two seasons.

Bryant had what he must have thought was his last laugh on the Spurs, bettering them four times to three in the last 10 years. But Timmy’s SAS would eliminate Kobe’s Lakers once more in the first round of the 2013 Playoffs to call it even. Practically, it isn’t fairly even because Bryant was injured throughout that series.

Also read: “Shaquille O’Neal hates the troops”: NBA Twitter reminiscences The Diesel putting David Robinson aka The Admiral on a poster




About the author
Akash Murty

Akash Murty

A sports enthusiast, crazy about basketball and football. Like putting forward my opinion on the things I know about, but restrain myself from doing that in my articles because my job is to report. Cover everything Lakers and NBA-related, both old and new.

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