Shaq Fu Radio NewsWhat If Shaq Had Stayed? (In Orlando)

April 5, 2021

The question has been asked before, and now one of the main characters that was personally involved in the story has spoken out. Former Orlando Magic great Penny Hardaway said in a recent interview that he’s sure he and Shaq would have won at least one or two NBA Championships… if Shaq had stayed in Orlando.

Sure, Shaq is one of the legendary players in the game, and his years in Los Angeles were his most productive. Yes, there were other great seasons, including a Championship in Miami, but there’s no doubt the seasons with Kobe and the Lakers were prime. 

On a recent episode of the “Undisputed” podcast, Penny Hardaway talked to Shannon and Skip about Shaq’s time in Florida. Hardaway says he believes that he and Shaq could’ve had the same kind of winning success that the big man had with Kobe and the Lakers. 

On the show, Hardaway said, “Kobe, an unbelievable warrior, tested for greatness. Great player, up there as a GOAT as far as I am concerned. But yeah, if I would’ve stayed here, if Shaq would’ve stayed in Orlando, we would’ve at least had 1-2 championships.”


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Sure, Shaq is one of the legendary players in the game, and his years in Los Angeles were his most productive. Yes, there were other great seasons, including a Championship in Miami, but there’s no doubt the seasons with Kobe and the Lakers were prime. 

On a recent episode of the “Undisputed” podcast, Penny Hardaway talked to Shannon and Skip about Shaq’s time in Florida. Hardaway says he believes that he and Shaq could’ve had the same kind of winning success that the big man had with Kobe and the Lakers. 

On the show, Hardaway said, “Kobe, an unbelievable warrior, tested for greatness. Great player, up there as a GOAT as far as I am concerned. But yeah, if I would’ve stayed here, if Shaq would’ve stayed in Orlando, we would’ve at least had 1-2 championships.”

Previously, O’Neal has also said he could’ve had a ring or two if he continued to play with the Magic. What is more stunning is that Shaq gave Hardaway some big praises by calling him “Kobe before Kobe”.

“All I was thinking was [we were] the new Magic [Johnson] and the new Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar]. When we played together it was awesome. He was Kobe before Kobe. So I think if we had stayed together we definitely would have gotten one. Maybe two.

Yes, it’s true: Shaq’s decision to leave the Magic and join Bryant with the Lakers turned out to be a great one for Shaq. He went on to win three straight titles, and he certainly saw most of the successes of his illustrious career.

As our friends at www.TheSportsRush.com said, the NBA has had many “what if” moments. This is yet another one, which fans, analysts and players can speculate and think about. Championships? We’ll never know… but it would have certainly made for some interesting NBA history. 

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