Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal were a phenomenal duo in the NBA. Many consider Shaq and Kobe to be the greatest duo in NBA history.
O'Neal and Kobe led the Lakers to 3 straight NBA championships and 4 NBA Finals during their 8-year stint playing together. But Bryant was always considered on a level below Shaq, as he was an MVP during their time together, whereas Kobe hadn't won that during their stint together.
Kobe Bryant would eventually win an MVP in 2008, the first and only MVP win of his career.
For a player the caliber of Kobe, him winning just one MVP across his career seems low. But Bryant seemed to have an explanation for it, and it has to do with him playing alongside Shaquille O'Neal for 8 years of his career.
During an interview with ESPN in 2013, Kobe Bryant was asked why he only won one MVP during his career.
Kobe explained that him playing with Shaquille O'Neal, arguably at the peak of his career, held him back significantly from winning individual accomplishments.
He added that he sacrificed a lot for the Lakers, and had he not played with Shaq for so long, he would have won more.
Because I played with Shaq. It’s that simple. A lot of the time we cancelled each other out. I sacrificed a lot playing with him. I really did. I did it for the success of the team. If I never played with him, my numbers would have been ridiculous.
Kobe clearly didn't regret playing with Shaq, as he found a lot of success with him, winning multiple NBA championships during his career with Shaq. The experience he had winning with Shaq allowed him to become a better leader for the rest of his tenure with the Lakers, where he won 2 more NBA championships and 2 Finals MVPs.
Shaq himself has said on multiple occasions that he and Kobe Bryant were the most dominant duo in NBA history. And with what they were able to accomplish, it's hard to dispute his claims.