‘Take That Jersey Off’: Shaquille O’Neal’s Response to Kobe Bryant Wearing Michael Jordan’s Jersey

Published 06/13/2021, 6:30 AM EDT


The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most illustrious franchises in NBA history. They have tied up with Boston Celtics for the most titles won in NBA history, with 17. The franchise is home to a lot of unbelievable players, such as Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, known to be two the most dominant players the league has seen. They won three titles together at their time with the Los Angeles Lakers. After their victory against the New Jersey Nets, Bryant and Shaq shared a candid moment before their celebrations.

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Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal had changed the whole complexion of the league.

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Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal were an entertaining duo

Notably, Bryant wore Jordan’s famous no 23 jersey during the celebrations, and a hilarious moment followed.

Even though they had a love-hate relationship for some time, they respected each other for the dominance they showed on the court. The Lakers swept past the Nets to complete a three-peat.

Meanwhile, a young Kobe Bryant was motivated to be the best as he wore a number 23 Michael Jordan jersey for the celebrations. The respect he had for Jordan is remarkable, as he always mentioned him as his older brother. But Shaquille O’Neal wanted him to wear his purple Laker jersey instead of Jordan’s as Shaq threw in some symbolism out there. As Bryant won three consecutive titles, the fans might have concluded of him being like Michael Jordan.

The legacy of Bryant started since that day.

Lakers Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal sit on the bench with foul trouble against the Timberwolves in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals at Staples Center Monday. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
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Bryant’s numbers during those three titles

The numbers he produced on the court were incredible. To sum up, the sheer presence of these two players sends shivers down the spine. Kobe averaged 27.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game in the playoffs. During clutch moments, Bryant produced some incredible shots on the court while Shaq was a commanding presence on the floor.

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Shaq used to set screens for Kobe to score while they performed many Alley-oop slams. The leadership qualities and the determination they showed on the court inspired other players to perform. Derek Fisher was a part of this trio, and one of the most underrated players in the league. He was a big voice in the locker room and takes his game to another level during clutch moments.

The NBA has shown us a lot of dominant duos throughout the years. Be it Malone-Stockton, or Jordan-Pippen, or even the Splash Brothers, we will know them as the greatest players of all time. However, no duo was as dominant as Shaq and Kobe in their yesteryear.

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Jacob Gijy

214 articles

Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.

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