The Case to Hang No. 34 From the Rafters

Things weren’t always peachy-keen for the Shaq and Kobe duo. The team would struggle early on en route to winning a championship, or two or three. During the 1999-00’ season, when the Lakers signed Phil Jackson, the tides turned and O’Neal finally buckled down and started focusing on winning a championship. Sure, O’Neal benefitted from Bryant showing signs of potential greatness as his game continued to develop, a well-rounded supporting cast and a six-time championship winning coach, but O’Neal was the driving force of this team.

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMX1FGwyr38&feature=related

Without Shaq there would be no three-peat.

Try and think back to all the great memories you had during the Lakers’ dominance in the earlier part of the last decade. You’d be pressed to find one that didn’t involve Shaq in some way.

Take the 01’ playoffs for instance. The Lakers were one overtime win away from going a perfect 16-0 in the postseason. In game one of the second round, O’Neal went nuts going 17-of-32 for 44 points, 21 rebounds and 7 blocks in a (get this), three-point win over a 55-win Sacramento Kings team.  In game two he registered 43 points, 20 rebounds and three blocks in a six-point win over the Shaq-dubbed “Queens.”

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFCSM419CBU&feature=related

Kids, I know what you’re thinking. A 55-win Kings team? It happened. They Kings were even better in 2002 when they were one game away from eliminating the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals—twice. If you have the time, do yourself a favor and watch game 6.

Next: Retiring the jersey isn’t up for debate, how long the Lakers will wait is the question

You May Also Like

Lakers Podcast: What L.A. Will Do With Second Pick In NBA Draft

The basketball gods smiled upon the Los Angeles Lakers and awarded them the second overall pick in Tuesday night’s Draft Lottery…

Throwback Thursday: Kobe Bryant’s “Amnesty THAT” Game

Four years ago, nearly to the day Kobe Bryant put on one the best revenge performances in NBA history and it had nothing to do with one of his many rivals on the court…

Lakers News: Luke Walton Sees Lou Williams As A ‘Natural Leader’

There has been a lot of discussion as to which players will step up and fill the leadership void left on the Los Angeles Lakers due to the retirement of Kobe Bryant…

Lakers News: Rajon Rondo Was ‘Kinda Pissed’ After Learning Kobe Bryant Solved Celtics During Game 7 Of 2010 NBA Finals

While it was clear the Los Angeles Lakers would pursue LeBron James in free agency, that they also would sign Rajon…