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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

NBA: Shaq-Kobe Debate

OK, I thought this issue is dead but it seems the NBA Lockout (stupid greedy owners!) makes October a bit boring. So some kids, yes including you Kevin Durant, decided to talk about the Shaq-Kobe debate. I'm sure others want to talk about the Kobe-Lebron debate or the Jordan-Kobe debate or whatever. Anyway, the Shaq-Kobe debate is probably the most intense one. I mean the Kobe-Lebron debate and the MJ-Kobe debate are both one-sided. Kobe is definitely better than Lebron but he is nowhere near as good as His Airness. Thats how I see it.

Anyway, main issue is that whether Shaquille O'Neal could have won the three-peat (2000-2002) without Kobe Bryant or the other way around. Of course, the fan boys (Shaqtards and Kobetards) will obviously support their favourite players.

In my opinion, Shaquille O'Neal could win the three-peat with just anybody (Allen Iverson, Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, etc.) in the NBA. At that time, Shaq was at his best, the most dominant player of the game and the one team that can actually stop him at that time was probably a Chicago Bulls team that includes a non-retired Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Shaq was a monster. The Los Angeles Lakers at the turn of the century was his. That was his team and Kobe was his “Pippen.

Kobe Bryant, on the other hand, at that time will definitely not win even a single ring without Shaquille O'Neal. He would have been the “Lebron” of the early 2000s and the Lakers will be just another one-man team show in the NBA. Of course, I am just talking about the young Kobe. If I am talking about Kobe, two years after Shaq left the Lakers then I am wrong. When Shaq left the Lakers, Kobe mature and became a leader. His last two championship rings said it all and this time, he definitely doesn't need the big guy. After 2006, Shaq was never the same and he was declining... though occasionally we get some rare treat from him turning back the hands of time.

Anyway, to finish it all, Shaq doesn't need Kobe in Phil Jackson's third three-peat just as Kobe doesn't need Shaq in his last two championship rings. Simple as that. Of course, Shaq without Kobe and Kobe without Shaq is just not the same. The Shaq-Lebron and the Kobe-Gasol tandems in late 2000s and even the Shaq-Wade tandem in mid-2000s have nothing to the Shaq and Kobe Show at the beginning of the decade. Personal egos and pride (from both players) ended their chances to create a dynasty not just a three-peat.

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