Shaquille O’Neal has been very outspoken about the things the late Kobe Bryant did on the court, his competitiveness and mindset on the hardwood. Shaq hasn’t missed a chance to praise Kobe and his game, comparing his former teammate with the greatest of all time, Michael Jordan.
O’Neal joined Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s ‘After the Dance’ to discuss the things he saw in Michael Jordan’s 10-part documentary ‘The Last Dance’, comparing His Airness’ character to Kobe’s. When asked about the mentalities of both players, Shaq said:
“I would think it was pretty much equal. Really never spent a lot of time with Michael, but watching them win the championships, watching this demeanor and watching them win the ball at the last second, I would say it’s pretty equal.”
“Kobe made a great point. We all look at the players before us, and we take a little something from them. I wanted to be mean like Patrick Ewing in the posts. I wanted to dominate like Wilt Chamberlain. You know the only difference is, Kobe was able to have a telephone number and have a relationship with these guys.”
He also had the chance to talk about Kobe and Michael’s relationship, revealing he was happy they had a deep bond.
“I’m actually glad they had a relationship. You know a lot of people always say ‘who is the greatest player in the game?’ Jordan or LeBron? I think you must respect by adding Kobe’s name in that conversation.”
When everybody is passing on Kobe Bryant as one of the top 3 best players of all time, Shaquille O’Neal is there to remind you of the things that Bryant did and how great he was on the court. He adopted a lot from Jordan’s personality, which made him a 5x NBA champion and one of the best ballers in the history of the game. You have to respect greatness.