Kobe Bryant And Shaq's Infamous Beef Led To The End Of Their Dynasty

Kobe Bryant And Shaq’s Infamous Beef Led To The End Of Their Dynasty

There are players who find it hard to acknowledge their competitors when you play in the league. There are also certain teammates who fell out because they didn’t see eye to eye when it came to certain aspect of the game. Whether it be being in NBA ready shape or personal achievements.

There are things which you cannot explain then and even if you did, it is not a guarantee that the other person would understand given the circumstances and the trouble both sides had to go through. Plus the media exaggerating the point doesn’t help as much and the drift continues.

However, once you retire, then the whole narrative changes. You call out your teammate for whatever stuff had happened and put the water under the bridge. And what is left after that is nothing but mutual respect. That was something which had happened between Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.

The start of the most dominant duo in the league

Back in their playing days, both players were considered to be the best in their craft. Their tenure started when Kobe Bryant was drafted to the Lakers and getting Shaq at the same off season from the Orlando Magic in 1996. The first 3 years were gruesome for both the stars.

Shaq had to go through the pressure of the media of not winning a championship despite being so great. Kobe on the other hand was straight out of high school and had to develop quickly to be in NBA ready shape. On top of that Kobe was the decider on whether Shaq will win a championship with the Lakers or will it be in vain. So both had something or the other to worry about.

Such was the case and both would get into fights in practice. But they pulled through. In the 1999-2000 season, both of them clicked. They became a dominant duo and were almost unstoppable. They went through with the playoffs, beating the Phoenix Suns, the Sacramento Kings and the Portland Trail Blazers. Then they went on to win the 1st championship against the Indiana Pacers.

The altercations

However, that off-season was when issues started developing within the team. Kobe was a workout freak on the other hand Shaq was just resting. When Shaq came all out of shape, Kobe lost it and insulted him for his lack of seriousness. Shaq was angered by the fact and he went ahead calling Kobe out in the media.

Kobe did not stop and the tension in the locker room had reached an all-time high. However, they did not let the incident take away from their game and they went on to secure two more championships, completing a three-peat.

After that what followed was the butting of heads between the 2 alphas. Despite their wins, both had their own objective as well. Kobe wanted to be the man for is team while Shaq wanted to do the same but in his own way. This led to the team suffering a humiliating defeat in the hands of the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals.

The breakup of the duo

The team blew up and Shaq headed to the Miami Heat. But that did not stop the beef between the two as both competitors won’t even talk to each other in the matches. That however changed after Shaq won another title with the Miami Heat. He went on to flaunt his championship and rub it on Kobe’s face.

But Kobe was just hitting his peak. He was dominating the league and was the best player. He led them to the NBA Finals in the 2008 post-season but was beaten by the Boston Celtics. Following this, Shaq made a rap on Kobe with lyrics such as ‘Hey Kobe! Tell me how my ass tastes!’

Knowing Kobe, he used it as motivation and went on to win back-to back championships in the 2009 and 2010 finals. Shaq obviously got heated up and tore his house down. To add fuel to the fire after winning his 5th championship when an interviewer asked about how he felt, he responded by saying, “Just got One more than Shaq” The whole press conference erupted in laughter which further infuriated Shaq.

However, the duo had a one-to-one interview and they sorted out their differences. They were arguably the most dominant do in the NBA for a long time. Things could have been different if they saw eye-to-eye with each other. But that did not happen and the fans are just left to guess on the possibility of their dominance in the league.

“Ladies and gentleman you have witnessed the 2nd greatest performance in NBA history.” That’s the way Soham was introduced to the world of Basketball. He is an ardent fan of the game capturing every moment, whether it be the long and turbulent regular season or the nail-biting playoff series. His perspective as a player provides valuable insight to the game. A follower of Kobe Bryant, he brings his mamba mentality in gathering every piece of information of the NBA.