One superstar does not make for a Championship-winning team. Sure, one guy can make a big difference for a team. (LeBron and the Greek Freak come to mind.) But to win a ring (or more than one), it takes more than one.
During the best years of his career, our man Shaq was pretty much a one-man wrecking crew. Under the rim, he was basically unstoppable… and virtually no one was shooting over the big man, either.
Still, you only need to look at his time with the Los Angeles Lakers to see how O’Neal became even more powerful when paired with one Kobe Bryant. Yes, Shaq had been great in his early years in Orlando, and Penny Hardaway was a pretty good pairing, but that duo never got a Championship.
In Los Angeles, all that changed. After a few warmup seasons with the Magic, Shaq was hitting his prime-time stride by the time he moved west. At the same time, Kobe was quickly gaining his own superstar status. Together…well, as they say, the rest is history.
Looking back on his legacy with the Lakers, NBA-related Twitter account “Legion Hoops” recently tweeted about Shaq’s numbers in the 2000, 2001, and 2002 NBA Finals. Check the tweet below. Bottom line: pretty darned amazing.
Yes, the stats were awesome, but not everyone had the same wow-factor. One particular fan responded to the Legion tweet with a shot at Shaq, saying that despite such numbers, O’Neal couldn’t win a ring without Kobe by his side. O’Neal responded quickly and sharply.. Shutting down this one poster with nothing but facts.
Shaq tweeted back: “No person can win without another star big dummy how many would magic have without kareem how many would kenny smith have without hakeem wtf u talking about i hate dumb a** people enjoy my stats and stf up.”
In case you need a little reminder, here’s a look at some of the great Kobe-Shaq moves from their Lakers heyday.