Stephen A Smith believes that out of the two Lakers legends, Kobe Bryant was more skilled than Shaquille O’Neal.
Despite the off-the-court drama the two had, on the court, the two Hall-Of-Famers had great synergy and understanding of each other’s game. While The Mamba was a threat outside the paint, Shaq was a force to reckon with in the paint.
Some analysts and fans even believe that Shaq and Kobe were better than the duo of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. And looking at what they achieved together, it’s no surprise why people think so.
Successfully clinching a three-peat, the pair knew what it took to win. Many also believe that had O’Neal never parted ways with the Lakers, the duo would have had several more championships. It definitely is hard to deny that.
“Skill-wise, Kobe Bryant was better than Shaquille O’Neal”: Stephen A Smith
For ages, debates have been going on, on who is the better player amongst the two. While Shaq is considered the greatest centre of all time, Kobe is also considered to be an identical copy of the GOAT, Michael Jordan himself. Analyst Stephen A Smith presented his case that Bryant was a more skilled player than the big man. The ESPN analyst said:
“Shaq deferred to Kobe in the fourth quarter, of course, Shaq deferred to Kobe at the free-throw line. Shaq even though he could defend especially, if you challenged him he’d shut you up real quick that’s not something he really really had to do.”
“When I’m looking at Shaq overall and I’m thinking from a skill set, the man was 7-1, 330 pounds, he walked around with, he was mobile, he was agile, his footwork was big time….. At the end of the day, when you have a teammate the likes of Kobe bean Bryant, I’m sorry I don’t feel that way.”
“Shaq is unstoppable the most dominant force other than Wilt Chamberlain we have ever seen in the history of basketball. In terms of the best from a skilled perspective I mean, I look at Tim Duncan and I look at Kobe Bryant his teammate.”
The fact of the matter is, these two legends are the most impactful duo in league history. Between the two, they share 33 All-Star appearances, 29 All-NBA selections, 2 league MVPs, and a whopping 62,239 points. We should feel blessed that we got to witness these two players go at it against their opponents, together, night in and night out.