When talking about the greatest duos in NBA history, there may be none greater than the partnership between Shaquille O’Neal and the late Kobe Bean Bryant. In their time as teammates, they dominated the league at an unbelievable level, winning three straight titles in the early 2000s.
But before there was Shaq and Kobe, there was Penny and Shaq, another great partnership that saw a young O’Neal paired with the amazing Penny Hardaway.
And while there is no arguing that Shaq’s time with Kobe was much more successful, one has to wonder what the superstar big man could have done with a few more years in Orlando. In a chat on Undisputed, Penny Hardaway assured the audience that he and Shaq could have won at least one or two titles together.
“Kobe, an unbelievable warrior, tested for greatness. Great player, up there as a GOAT as far as I am concerned. But yeah, if I would’ve stayed here, if Shaq would’ve stayed in Orlando, we would’ve at least had 1-2 championships.”
.@ShannonSharpe: “Barring the injury, had you and Shaq stayed together, could you have been like Kobe & Shaq?”@Iam1Cent: “Yes for sure. We would’ve at least had 1-2 championships. I’m sure of that.” pic.twitter.com/FsAa1PvCsw
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) April 1, 2021
Shaq was almost just as dominant in Orlando as he was in L.A. He was younger, more efficient, and seemingly lighter on his feet. Their greatest moment came in the 1995 Eastern Conference playoffs when they defeated Michael Jordan’s Bulls in 6 games.
Unfortunately, after just three seasons together, Shaq and Penny split after the Magic blundered in free agency, declining to give their star the contract he was so rightfully worthy of. No doubt, they’re kicking themselves for that one…