Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal Would ‘Love’ To See If They Could Match Up With Michael Jordan’s Bulls And Magic Johnson’s Lakers
Andrew D. Bernstein-NBAE/Getty Images

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal put together one of the greatest runs in NBA history when they were teammates with the Los Angeles Lakers. They propelled the team to four NBA Finals and winning three championships before going their separate ways.

That stretch is one of the best of any duo to ever suit up in the NBA, rivaling pairs like Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen or Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Of course, there is ultimately no way to empirically determine which one of those tandems was the most gifted or ‘best.’

But while Bryant may view Jordan like a “brother,” his competitive nature still leaves him wishing there was a way for he and O’Neal to suit up against those pairings, even if he understands it will never happen, via TNT:

“I would love to be able to take our ’01 team and match up with the ’91 Bulls team, because I know that’s when Michael feels like that’s when he was at his best, or the ’89 Lakers before Magic got hurt. Roll the ball out and we can play and see what happens. But unfortunately, we can’t. So, to be able to sit here and say we were the best or we were better, what difference does that make? You ask us, of course we’re the best. You ask Michael and Scottie, of course they’re the bast. You ask Magic and Cap, of course they’re the best.”

O’Neal explained why he still feels like he and Bryant were the best:

“What makes us the best is no other duo had as many outside controversies as you and I had. That’s why I always say we were the most enigmatic, nobody could figure us out, most controversial, but when it comes time to step on the court, most dominant one-two punch, little-big ever created in the game.”

Bryant’s and O’Neal’s years together certainly rivals any eight-year stretch from either Jordan and Pippen or Johnson and Abdul-Jabbar, or any other pairing in NBA history. And while O’Neal is correct to note there was dysfunction, he’s also right that it almost never mattered when he and Bryant were on the floor.

Still, it’s impossible to account for the changes in the way the game was played and to factor in the duos’ other teammates when having debates like this, which is why they’ll never end.

You May Also Like

Game Recap: Short-Handed Lakers Drop Season Finale To The Kings

The regular season finale was finally upon the Lakers as they returned…

Lakers News: LeBron James Admits Not Making 2019 NBA Playoffs Being ‘Difficult’ In Between Games

Although the Los Angeles Lakers may have become accustomed to missing the…

Ray Allen On Kobe Bryant’s Retirement: ‘Always Have To Bow To The End Of An Era’

Future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant ended his 20-year NBA career this week in dramatic fashion with the Los Angeles Lakers superstar leading his team to victory over the Utah Jazz with an unforgettable 60-point performance at the Staples Center…

Lakers News: Shaquille O’Neal Predicts Kevin Durant Will Sign With L.A.

The most sought-after NBA free agent on the market this summer will be superstar Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Durant will have plenty suitors on the open market with the Los Angeles Lakers expected to be among the most aggressive teams pursuing the one-time NBA MVP…