Shaquille O’Neal Puts Respect in the Name of LeBron James and Anthony Davis By Giving Them a Big Title

Published 12/28/2020, 2:21 AM EST
Dec 22, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and forward Anthony Davis (3) wait to enter the game against the LA Clippers in the third quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant joined the Lakers in the same season- 1996-97. While Shaq was already a known name and a feared figure, Kobe entered as the 13th overall pick. Fast forward to 2019-20, the franchise signed Anthony Davis and placed him alongside LeBron James to birth yet another championship duo.

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After the Lakers lifted their 17th title, a debate arose on whether it is the right time to compare the latest duo against the former greats. Many critics believed it is too early to suggest that Bron and AD are equally good as their predecessors in Pau and Kobe, or Shaq and Kobe. Many, but Shaquille O’Neal himself.

Shaq praised LeBron James and Anthony Davis in his own style

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In a recent Instagram post, the Big Shamrock posted a collage of his click with Kobe Bryant alongside Bron and AD. With the identical picture where both the celebrated duos were posing with their newly won rings, the 48-YO wrote, “Legendary Laker Duos”

The timing of this post collided with the Lakers’ stupendous performance against the Mavericks in their second game of the season. The dynamic duo added 50 points on the board and ensured the 2020-21 season’s first win as defending champions.

The other point that makes the case of the present-day duo strong in front of Shaq and Kobe’s legacy is the fact that they’re here to stay with the Lakers for three more years. So they hold a real chance to complete a three-peat that the duo of Kobe and Pau measly failed at achieving. 

When the Big Cactus said he and Kobe are unmatchable

29609.SP.0513.lakers9.WS Lakers Kobe Bryant, left, celebrates his 48–points with Shaquille O’Neal after defeating the Kings in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals at the Arco Arena in Sacramento. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Back in the 2000s, the Black Mamba at the elbow and the giant Shaq on the block were almost unbeatable. They played in a very physical era. Kobe’s fadeaway and Shaq’s drop-step were something that ruled until 2004, when the latter finally left the team.

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In an interview a couple of weeks ago, the 7’1” legend had argued, “There will never be the next [Shaq and Kobe]. We don’t need them to catch up to us. Kobe and myself were not trying to catch Magic [Johnson] and Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar]….

“Kobe and I, [our] legacy will never be duplicated. Or imitated.”

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That being told, the 4-time NBA Champion surely believes that the Lakers again have a duo that will forever be remembered for their contribution.

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Sourabh Singh

1135 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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