Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant were one of the most lethal pairings in NBA history. The Los Angeles Lakers became a contemporary dynasty by winning three straight championships.
The two legends, however, didn't always get along, which finally led to the roster's dramatic breakup.
Following O'Neal out of the Lakers in 2004, Phil Jackson led the team to those championships. Everyone connected to the Lakers franchise saw the 2003–04 season to be a turbulent one.
O'Neal was the obvious star throughout their championship runs, but by the time everything broke apart, Kobe had taken control.
Jackson explained in his book how the rivalry between Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal led to the demise of the Lakers.
Jackson said that the couple's hostility developed as a result of their different salaries. Bryant made $10 million less than O'Neal, who made about $25 million annually.
Jackson claimed that Bryant was aware that he could never earn as much money as O'Neal did. That wasn't the case, though, as Bryant would eventually make more money over his career than Shaq did.
Jackson said that Bryant had dissented from the labour agreement at the time because it contained a salary cap.
This was only one of many factors that contributed to their relationship's breakdown.
Even if their time in LA didn't turn out well, they more than made up for it later in their careers. They always had a great deal of respect for one another, and O'Neal spoke at Bryant's funeral after the latter's terrible passing.