Kobe Bryant’s Relationship With Shaquille O’Neal During Their Time Together
Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal are considered two of the greatest basketball players and were a dynamic duo while they were on the Los Angeles Lakers together. Although Kobe and Shaq won three consecutive NBA championships during their time together, there was some tension in their relationship.
The Early Years
Kobe and Shaq were drafted by the Lakers together in 1996. While their careers were in the early stages, it was clear that their styles of basketball meshed well together and that the Lakers had a powerful duo. They formed a strong bond early on as Kobe invited Shaq over for dinner and the two players frequently competed against each other.
Despite the team’s success, things began to sour between Kobe and Shaq following the 2003 NBA championship. Kobe wanted more of a role in the offense while Shaq was still the focal point. This led to the two arguing during practice and often insulting one another in the media. This culminated in Shaq leaving the Lakers in 2004.
In the years that followed, Kobe & Shaq ended up trading friendly jabs at one another. In the later years of their careers, the two seemed to have grown more understanding of each other. They frequently praised one another in the media and even frequently talked to one another in public.
Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal had a complex relationship while they were teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite their strong bond in the early years, their relationship got strained due to a tug-of-war over who should have more control of the offense. They eventually reconciled in their later years and the two ended up having the utmost respect for each other.