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Shaquille O’Neal Has Kobe Bryant-Related Advice for New NBA Superteams

Published 11/24/2023, 6:35 AM EST

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There’s a glorious history of superteams in the NBA. Shaquille O’Neal gets to boast he was part of quite a few. Of course, his most memorable combination was with Kobe Bryant. But there were some issues they grappled with. Now that franchises are trying to build their own superteams, Shaq has advice for these organizations from his experience.

Shaq and Kobe had their fair share of differences. But they had a unique friendship with their inside jokes that O’Neal still reminisces about.

Shaquille O’Neal shares his take on ‘Superteams’

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NBA teams are always scrambling to sign All-Star talent to form a ‘superteam’ with higher chances of winning. One in history was created in 1996 when the Los Angeles Lakers signed Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. More superteams have popped up since.

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Shaq’s newest business has brought him to Mexico where Cancha sifted through all his hats. As an NBA pro-turned-analyst, the publication wanted to know what he thinks about super teams that are put together every season. “I think that if you arm one correctly it’s fine,” O’Neal said.

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He’d explain that cracking the formula is far more important. “When you want to play with one or the other partner, but when you’re old, it’s fine but not so much. It works when they are two young stars, at the time, when they join forces.

He refer to his combination with Bryant to illustrate the balance that’s necessary for a super team. “But I think what’s not right is when they make a lot of changes for someone, or give everything for someone. It’s like when I and Kobe joined, we were a super team, young people, we wanted to win everything, it was the right thing to do, and it’s respectable when a franchise wants to build a super team, they want to be the best, that no one beats them, but it doesn’t always work.”

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Jerry West took a major leap by putting Shaq and Kobe together. But it took a lot of time before they finally secured a championship in 2000 followed by two consecutive ones. Both of their fiery competitiveness created for some tension within the team and Shaq would eventually switch to Miami. However, he’d contend that he and Kobe had immense mutual respect for each other even during their rivalry.

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Shaq misses his old friend

After Bryant’s untimely death in a helicopter crash in 2020, O’Neal would often say he regrets not burying their feud. Despite their rivalry and matching competitiveness, Shaq would always state Bryant was his favorite teammate.

Kobe Bryant was on O’Neal’s mind this Thanksgiving when he was asked who he’d like to watch an NBA game courtside with. He recalled that sitting courtside and smack-talking other teams like Sacramento was his thing with the “Kobester.

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Fans don’t think about that intense rivalry in this super team anymore. But he’s right that it took a lot of effort to make their dynamic work. Do you think any current super team lives up to that Shaq-Kobe combination?

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Written by:

Caroline John

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I was 7 when I saw 'Space Jam' but didn't know till the third rewatch the lead actor is actually a living basketball legend. It was while studying journalism that my friend would go on about the Warriors from Golden State. Keen on athletes' personas outside their arenas, it was Stephen Curry's confidence and philanthropy that drew me to follow the news on NBA pros and explore sports media.
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Edited by:

Aakash Nair