Shaquille O’Neal Explains How His Duo with Kobe Bryant Was Similar to The Beatles

Published 08/27/2021, 12:30 PM EDT
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – JUNE 12: Kobe Bryant, Lindsey Hunter and Shaquille O’Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrate following Game Four of the NBA Finals against the New Jersey Nets on June 12, 2002 at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images)


Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant shared a very complicated relationship. There was always some kind of drama, but respect was never lost for one another. Moreover, they remain to be one of the best one-two punchers in NBA history.

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Their iconic run with the Lakers saw them create countless great moments. Their Lakers is also the last team to complete a three-peat in NBA. Understandably, Shaq was very emotional when he heard of the sad passing of his friend Kobe Bryant.

Recently, on the occasion of the Mamba’s 43rd birthday, Shaq shared some stories.

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Nuggets Carmelo Anthony and Lakers Kobe Bryant in Game 4 of the NBA Playoffs at the Pepsi Center in Denver Monday April 28, 2008. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
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Shaquille O’Neal celebrates Kobe Bryant

On The Big Podcast, Shaq spoke about his good friend Kobe on the occasion of his birthday. He spoke about their controversy and how they constantly competed with each other.

Shaquille O’Neal said: “Throughout history, when you have two alpha males in a group, this is what’s gonna happen. There is going to be conflict and they gonna be the greatest group ever. Shaq and Kobe, and the Beetles are the only two that compare to me and Kobe.”

He also said how he respected Kobe’s ‘over work ethic’. However, the main highlight was him talking about the moment they shared All-Star MVP. Shaq said that was the moment he decided to forget all that has happened between them.

Los Angeles Lakers Shaquille O’Neal, left, shares a laugh with Kobe Bryant on the bench during a pre–season game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim Thursday, October 23, 2003. (Photo by Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

He said it felt like old times when Kobe kept feeding him the ball during the All-Star game. And, his gesture after winning MVP is what caused Shaq’s change of heart. So what happened during the All-Star game?

2009 NBA All-Star Game

The 2009 All-Star event was truly iconic. Notably, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal won the Co-MVP award in the All-Star game.

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Lakers Kobe Bryant bumps chests with Shaquille O’Neal after O’Neal got fouled scoring in the first half during the First Round of the Western Conference Playoffs at Staples Center Sunday April 21, 2002.Trailblazer Damon Stoudamire looks on from the left. Lakers won 95–87. (Photo by Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Bryant and the Lakers came into the All-Star break with the best record in the league. Likewise, Bryant was selected as a starter. A weary Shaq was taken as a reserve center. However, their star duo was on display on this particular night.

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Bryant added 27 points, and 4 assists while Shaq scored 17 points in just 10 minutes of play. They both received MVP, but Kobe won everyone’s heart post-game. He gave the award to Shaq and told him to give it to his son. This won over the Big man and they settled their conflict after that.

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Anuj Talwalkar

268 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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