Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant are one of the most dynamic duos in NBA history. They won three straight NBA championships and went to the finals four times during their time playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Even though they had tremendous success, they probably could have won even more if they stayed together for a few more seasons. Ever since Kobe came to the Lakers as a teenager, Shaq immediately saw the enormous potential and was positive they could win championships together in the years to come.
In an interview before a regular-season game against the defending champions Chicago Bulls back in 1998, Shaq talked about whether he and Kobe have the potential of becoming the next one-two punch for the Lakers. After a slow rookie season, Kobe already showed signs of brilliance in his second year, and Shaq immediately knew only the sky is the limit for his young teammate. Shaq said that he believes the two can be the next big thing in the NBA, and he couldn’t have been more right.
“Throughout the history of basketball, every great team always had a one-two punch. Isiah and Laimbeer, Magic and Kareem, Bird, and McHale. I think myself and Kobe Bryant will become our one-two punch. He has a great heart, great scoring ability, and he can do a lot of things. He plays good defense, and I think we are going to be the future. He is 19, I’m still young, I’m only 25, and I think that is our one-two punch.”
Even though at one point the relationships between them weren’t great with several incidents, both Shaq and Kobe were too good for almost everybody in the league during those years. No matter what anybody says, they achieved what they were supposed to and etched their names in NBA history as a dynamic duo that made a significant impact on the game of basketball.