How Kobe Bryant Was Eager to Get Back at Shaquille O’Neal Following His 2010 NBA Title Victory

Published 08/30/2021, 1:30 PM EDT
NEWBURY PARK, CA – MARCH 28: SiriusXM Presents A Town Hall With NBA Legend Kobe Bryant at the Mamba Sports Academy on March 28, 2019 in Newbury Park, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SiriusXM)


Kobe Bryant did not understand the language of mediocrity. The Black Mamba always carried in him a gene of Michael Jordan that kept him competing all the time. And this competitive drive wasn’t just limited to his rivals but extended against his own teammates too.

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The world knows how KB and Shaquille O’Neal never got along as well as a champion duo must. They had their reasons to carry the feud and that bittersweet relation that defined them. But how exactly did these differences help Kobe in achieving greater heights?

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Kobe Bryant and his hunger to beat Shaquille O’Neal

When Shaquille O’Neal moved out of LA, the NBA fans believed that the trade weakened the Lakers. And it probably did, because Lake How failed to win a championship for six straight years after that happened. As a salt to injury, Shaq won his fourth ring in 2006, beating Kobe’s three until that time.

Much later in a June 19, 2010 interview, Kobe said something that proved how he always wanted to surpass Shaq. Upon winning the crazy NBA Finals of 2010, a 31-YO Kobe sat down with his daughters Natalia (7) and Gianna (4) on his laps, for an interview. 

The 5x NBA Champion smilingly expressed, “I just got one more than Shaq. So you can take that to the bank… You guys know how I am. I don’t forget anything.”

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Black Mamba and his bucket list

Kobe Bryant was so competitive that winning rings alone did not satisfy him. He did not like the narrative that he won those three initial rings because of the dominance coming from Shaq. As a result, the star shooting guard made it a mission that he wanted to win championships without the Big Shamrock.

Also, on the contrary, a wise Kobe also knew that he could’ve won more titles had the 7’1” been in sync with him. He had once claimed in an interview that his duo with Shaq could’ve won them 12 rings if only the latter was in good shape. 

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But Shaq was the polar opposite to a gym freak in Kobe and they could together win just 25% of those twelve. So what do you think, was it Shaq’s fault that Kobe could not pass Michael Jordan’s championships record? Help us learn your interesting opinion in the comments section below.

Watch this story – Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and His Biggest Beef with Shaquille O’Neal, Scottie Pippen, and Other Players

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Sourabh Singh

1589 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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