When talking about players to team up with, LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo are usually the first names to come up. Their dominance on the court and all-around skill set help make the game easier for those around them. Really, their no-brainer picks for any hypothetical team.
But for legendary big man Shaquille O’Neal, that’s not the team he’d prefer. Instead, he told Adam Lefkoe on his podcast ‘The Lefkoe Show’ that his big three will always be “Kobe, D-Wade, and himself.”
— The Lefkoe Show (@LefkoeShow) April 4, 2020
Obviously Shaq isn’t trying to show any disrespect towards LeBron or Giannis. Both are dominant players who would probably play really well with O’Neal. Most would have easily picked them over anyone else.
But Shaq has history and experience with both Wade and Bryant that supersedes anyone else. On the Lakers, he and the Mamba won three-straight NBA Championships together and dominated opponents like no other duo in history. They went 15-1 in 2001 and were just unstoppable during their best stretch.
With Wade, Shaq won his fourth and final title. The two formed a powerful one-two punch in Miami that beat the Mavericks in the 2006 Finals. They owned the paint and played with an energy that was unmatched. With some more time and health, there’s no telling what they would have accomplished together.
Kobe and Wade will always have a special place in Shaq’s world. They helped make him into the historic big man that he was.
Clearly, he holds them in very high esteem.