Shaquille O’Neal Called Kobe Bryant ‘Penny Hardaway Part 2’

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Throughout NBA history, there have always been excellent duos that went on to great success. The Lakers themselves benefitted from Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain as well as Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

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Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal won three straight championships, but also went through a very public fued that ultimately saw Shaq traded away in 2004. There were many issues between the two, but Kobe told Michael Lee of the Washington Post that Shaq comparing him to Penny Hardaway did not sit well with him:

The challenge had been thrown down upon me, of not being able to win without Shaq. A public challenge never really bothered me too much, but he made a couple of comments as well. I think he called me Penny Hardaway Part 2 or something like that. So that’s what [ticked] me off,”

Hardaway was Shaq’s running buddy in Orlando, but the two were unable to win a ring together. Bryant said the comparison is what drove him to show he could win without Shaq:

Then it was like, ‘Listen, you know the step back that I took to help us win championships. Let’s not get [expletive] confused. I can dominate on my own. I decided to stay here and win championships and sacrifice MVPs and scoring titles and all that stuff.’ So once that was said, it was like a line in the sand now.”

Bryant, of course, would prove himself right when he led the Lakers to back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010. His long list of accolades and accomplishments has led most to proclaim him as one of the 10 best NBA players of all-time.

Kobe also revealed that he considered going to the Washington Wizards to play with Michael Jordan. Thankfully for Lakers fans everywhere Kobe remained in Los Angeles and became a legend in purple and gold.

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