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Shaq’s Degrading Comparisons Almost Pushed Kobe Bryant to Leave the Lakers

Is it possible to think about the greatest Los Angeles Laker players without Magic, Shaq, Kareem, Kobe, etc.? It’s not. They defined the game in their generation and created dynasties. They are the only franchise to have multiple dynasties. But if even one of these players were not on the Lakers, the entire course of the NBA would have shifted. Shaq did leave the Lakers but what would have happened if Kobe Bryant left instead?

Kobe Bryant and Shaq played together in LA for 8 seasons before Shaq was traded to Miami.

Kobe Bryant was insulted by Penny comparisons made by Shaq

Shaq and Kobe Bryant made the greatest dynamic duo in NBA history. The combined talent that the Lakers housed during their time at LA was nearly unfair. But all coins have 2 sides. The good side was the 3 NBA titles they won. The bad was the amount they hated and fought each other in those 8 seasons. That caused chemistry issues that separated this duo at the peak of their primes. 

 

Shaq averaged 27 points per game for the Lakers and Kobe had career averages of 21 points per game. That created the narrative that Shaq was carrying Kobe and the inner competitor Bryant hated that. The media also continued insinuating the same thing and made quotes sound wrong. That created a rift between Kobe and Shaq. 

As we know, to fix the problem, Shaq was traded to the Miami Heat. But, it turns out, Kobe Bryant wanted to leave first. Kobe had begun to look for schools and houses in Chicago. 

“Yeah. There was a story on ESPN, I think it was ESPN Magazine, and they asked you a question about me and Penny. And you said we were essentially the same. And I looked at that and said, uh, ‘no, we’re not.'”

 

Kobe was insulted to the point where he was ready to close the chapter on LA, however, Shaq insisted that the miscommunication conveyed by the media was what tripled the problem. But Shaq ended up being the guy who was traded and the Lakers won more titles with Kobe. All’s well that ends well. 

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