Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal formed one of the NBA’s most formidable duos in the early 2000s, but a feud between the two got in the way of a longer success story.
The two played together for the Lakers from 1996-2004, and they won three titles together from 2000-2003. They were unstoppable. Shaq was in the prime of his career, dominating at the center position like nobody had ever seen before.
Kobe was an up and coming star, but his potential seemed limitless. While playing with Shaq, he showed he was a true star, averaging well over 20 points per game once he started going in his career.
He was an integral part of the Lakers’ title runs, but he was always considered to be second fiddle behind Shaq at the time. Shaquille O’Neal was the one winning MVPs and Final MVPs, he was clearly top dog. However, that dynamic got a bit messed up in the Lakers last year, and things went downhill.
The greatest duo in NBA history. There will never be another Shaq and Kobe 🏆🏆🏆 pic.twitter.com/vsgPIh02WT
— Lakers Lead (@LakersLead) June 13, 2022
Shaquille O’Neal was trolled with a Kobe Bryant-Drake graphic by his Inside the NBA crew
The Lakers 2003-04 season was clouded by controversy. Kobe had to be away from the team to battle a sexual harassment case in court, and that used to get Shaq angry. He wanted Kobe around more and felt his case was distracting for the team.
On the other hand, Kobe hated Shaq’s lack of a serious work ethic and took trouble with his physical fitness when he showed up to practice. The two reached a breaking point, and the Lakers had to choose between them. They chose Kobe, and the rest is history, of course, but the feud still lived on in memory for a long time.
It took an interview with the two to calm things down as they talked over everything that went down during those Lakers years, clearing the air.
The Inside the NBA crew didn’t let Shaq live down his beef though. In 2016, the year Drake released his album ‘Views’, the crew decided to poke fun at Shaq with a Drake related burn.
As you can see, Shaq clearly didn’t take too kindly to the graphic and stormed off the set, knocking things down as he went. It clearly ticked Shaq off, and it made for a very entertaining moment for the rest of us.