Clippers Insider Once Dropped Shocking Fact on Kobe Bryant Joining the Team: “It Seemed Apparent to Everyone That Kobe and Shaquille O’Neal Could No Longer Co-Exist”

Published 12/25/2021, 9:00 AM EST
(GERMANY OUT) Shaquille O’Neal Basketballspieler Miami Heat; USA: neben Kobe Bryant (l., Los Angeles Lakers) (Photo by Pressefoto Ulmerullstein bild via Getty Images)


Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most successful teams in NBA history with 17 championships. Irrespective of their current predicament, they had one of their greatest periods during the early 2000s. Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal powered the Lakers to a three-peat during this time and became one of the greatest duos in the history of the NBA.

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Despite having insane chemistry on the court for the Lakers, Kobe and Shaq weren’t the best of friends off the court. Their feud started due to some personal differences and arguments between the two during their time in LA. The Lakers traded Shaquille O’Neal to Miami Heat in 2004. However, there’s another story of Kobe Bryant almost leaving the Lakers during that time.

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Kobe declined a huge six-year deal from the Lakers to sign with the Clippers in 2004. However, he later re-signed with the Lakers on a seven-year deal. Ralph Lawler, the voice of the Clippers for over 41 years, revealed that Shaq and Kobe couldn’t exist and explained the Clipper’s attempt to bring Kobe to the other part of the LA.

Ralph Lawler reveals Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal couldn’t co-exist at the Lakers

A former broadcaster with Los Angeles Clippers, Ralph Lawler, recently recalled the dramatic summer of 2004. Lawler explained how they almost brought Kobe to the other side of the LA. He also added that Shaq and Kobe couldn’t co-exist in the same team.

“They made their pitch to Kobe, and it was a very strong one because it seemed apparent to everyone at that point that Kobe and Shaq just could no longer co-exist,” Lawler told the LA Times.

“Then it’s time for Kobe to excuse himself and go, and Donald Sterling walks him to the door, expressing concern. ‘Is this really going to happen?”

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Well, the excitement of bringing Kobe to the Clippers ended with Kobe re-signing a seven-year deal with the Lakers. The Clippers first had a chance of getting Kobe during the draft, but they couldn’t. They lost both their opportunities of signing Kobe, who could have brought a championship to the other part of the LA.

–Lakers Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant celebrate after defeating the 76ers in Game 4 of the NBA Finals in Philadelphia Wednesday June 13, 2001. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Kobe retired as a Laker and won two more championships. Shaquille O’Neal won his fourth championship with Miami Heat and retired in 2011. Slowly, their feud de-escalated and good relations developed between them and their families.

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WATCH THIS STORY: NBA Stars That Shaquille O’Neal Has Taken Jabs at: Donovan Mitchell, James Harden & Others

 

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Abhishek Singh

442 articles

Abhishek is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports with over two years of journalistic experience with Chase Your Sport and Dribl. A Football Management graduate, he has previously interned in the Indian Super League, I-League and the AFC Champions League. In addition to being a Michael Jordan fan, Abhishek is an ardent Steph Curry and Warriors guy, and believes they have a few more championships in store before the former retires.

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