Home Other Inside Kobe And Shaq’s Complicated NBA Partnership and Reconciliation

Inside Kobe And Shaq’s Complicated NBA Partnership and Reconciliation


His former Lakers teammate Shaquille O’Neal said he hadn’t “felt pain that sharp in a while” and that he had initially been in disbelief when his nephew had told him about reports of Bryant’s death.

Shaquille O'Neal Kobe Bryant

Bryant (L) and O’Neal (R).

MIKE FIALA/AFP via Getty Images

Source: Business Insider,  TNT

Bryant was in a helicopter with his daughter, Gianna, 13, and seven other people when it crashed into a hillside killing everyone on board.

Kobe Bryant Gianna Bryant

Kobe Bryant with his daughter Gianna (R).

Chris Carlson/AP Photo

Source: Business Insider

Bryant had an illustrious career with the Los Angeles Lakers spanning 20 years.

Kobe Bryant jersey

Bryant’s jersey.

Kelvin Kuo/AP Photo

Source: Business Insider

Reminiscing about his relationship with Bryant, an emotional O’Neal said, “All the stuff that was documented between us was never a dislike … It’s what brothers do … I love Kobe Bryant.”

Kobe Bryant Shaquille O'Neal

Bryant (L) and O’Neal (R).

Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Source: The Big Podcast with Shaq

O’Neal and Bryant were Lakers teammates for eight years between 1996 and 2004, where they played center and shooting guard, respectively.

Los Angeles Lakes Kobe Bryant Shaquille O'Neal

Bryant and O’Neal with their team.

Victoria Arocho/AP Photo, File

Source: Business Insider

Bryant and O’Neal brought the Lakers to three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 through 2002.

kobe bryant shaquille o'neal

Bryant and O’Neal celebrating a win.

AFP PHOTO/AFP via Getty Images

Source: Los Angeles Times

Bryant and O’Neal are considered to be one of the most iconic partnerships in NBA history. They worked together to combine physical dominance and skill to become a formidable force on the court.

Kobe Bryant Shaquille O'Neal

Bryant scores in a game against Portland Trailblazers.


Source: Washington Post

The duo won the Lakers their first NBA championship in twelve years in 2000.

Kobe Bryant Shaquille O'Neal

Bryant and O’Neal after their championship win in 2000.

AFP/AFP via Getty Images

Source: LA Times


Talking about the final game of the 2000 NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Times described O’Neal as the “biggest star” and Bryant as “the shiniest.” In a game 6, 116-111 victory over the Indiana Pacers, Bryant and O’Neal scored a total of 67 points.

Kobe Bryant Shaquille O'Neal

O’Neal and Bryant during game 6.

Kevork Djansezian/AP Photo, File

Source: Los Angeles Times


Jerry Buss, the late owner of the Lakers, said at the time, “I’ve never seen anybody dominate like that, ever … [O’Neal] played probably the best basketball any player has ever played.”


O’Neal defends against Indiana Pacers’ Jalen Rosen in Game 6 of the 2000 NBA finals.

Kevork Djansezian/AP Photo

Source: Los Angeles Times

The same year, Bryant was accused of sexual assault by a woman in Colorado. She accused Bryant of raping her at the spa where she worked. Bryant publicly apologized but maintained his innocence and said he had viewed the encounter as consensual but understood how it was different for the woman. The criminal charges against Bryant were dismissed and he later settled a civil suit.

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Bryant with his wife, Vanessa Bryant (L) at a press conference after his sexual assault allegations became public.

J. Emilio Flores / Getty

Source: Daily Beast

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