February 17, 2009

Kobe & Shaq Reunite in 2009 NBA All-Star Game Win

Five years after their rocky break-up, the tandem of Kobe-Shaq (or Shaq-Kobe) reunited at the 2009 NBA All-Star Game and steered the Western Conference All-Stars to a 146-119 win in the annual classic.

The history of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal is a storied one-- the two won three straight championships in the early 2000's at the peak of Shaq's prime, they engaged in one of the heated teammate feuds in professional sports, and flamed out in their Finals match-up against the Detroit Pistons in 2004. Shaq was traded soon after to the Miami Heat. Wikipedia has an accurate take on what transpired :
After the Lakers' loss to the Detroit Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals, O'Neal was angered by comments made by Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak regarding O'Neal's future with the club, as well as by the departure of Lakers coach Phil Jackson at the request of Dr. Buss. O'Neal made comments indicating that he felt the team's decisions were centered on a desire to appease Bryant to the exclusion of all other concerns, and O'Neal promptly demanded a trade. The Dallas Mavericks and their team owner Mark Cuban were extremely interested in O'Neal and were willing to make a trade with the Lakers, but Kupchak wanted Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavs' superstar, in return. Cuban refused to let go of Nowitzki and the Lakers ended trade talks with Dallas. However, Miami showed interest and gradually a trade agreement was made.
With the Batman and Robin tandem dissolved, Kobe got what he wished for. He became the focal point of the Lakers offense, where he became one of the top 3 scorers in the league. But it came at a price: the Lakers missed the playoffs in their first season without Shaq. The Lakers picked up the pieces from there and they are now one of the best teams in the NBA. (Need proof? Check out the odds in Lakers games: sports betting and sportsbook websites give the Lakers the edge most of the time). And the person leading the way for the Lakers this season? Kobe Bryant.

The Co-MVP award in the All-Star Game could be the storybook ending to the Kobe-Shaq saga. But who knows? They may still end up together for one final run after Shaq's contract with the Suns expire a couple of years from now.


In cooperation with 888sport.com

1 comment:

  1. Just like the old days, when Kobe and Shaq rules the NBA for 3 consecutive years...Now shows that they still have chemistry playing together, hope it will happen soon as one team again to dominate not only as the best in the west but as NBA's best.



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