Kobe vs Shaq
I got a chance to see the Kobe vs Shaq Players Only interview where the two reflect on their time together with the LA Lakers.
Here are some interesting highlights.
- Shaq admits he was "done" after the first championship in LA. He was satisfied that he had finally won the "chip'" and admits he started coming into training camp out of shape. That started the tension between Kobe and Shaq as Kobe would be relied upon to carry the team while Shaq played himself back into shape. With Shaq back in shape, Kobe had to take a backseat offensively.
- Kobe admits he was prepared to go to Chicago as a free agent in the summer of 2004. He admits the specter of playing in Shaq's shadow was the defining factor in that decision.
- The animosity than lingered between the two for the rest of the decade. Kobe wanted Shaq to win first because he would use that as motivation for the rest of the decade.
-When Shaq released that video after Kobe lost in 2008 Kobe came back (after he won in 2010) said what mattered most to him personally was that "he had one more than Shaq."
Some thoughts. We will never see another Kobe who was willing to end a potential dynasty to carve out his own legacy. Kobe wasn't the type to join a superteam he wanted players to come to him and if they didn't he was OK with that.