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Shaquille O'Neal Makes Emotional Tribute For Kobe Bryant On His Birthday: "Miss You Big Man"

Shaquille O'Neal Makes Emotional Tribute For Kobe Bryant On His Birthday: "Miss You Big Man"

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal formed two ends of arguably the greatest duo we have ever seen in NBA history. The Lakers dominated the early-2000s with Shaq and Kobe, making them one of the greatest teams of all time. Shaq dominated the awards by winning an MVP and 3 Finals MVPs, while Kobe generated a reputation for being arguably one of the greatest shot makers in the league. 

The pair would split up after they failed to complete a 4-peat in 2004, as the tension between Shaq and Kobe reached its peak. The center was shipped off to Miami as the Lakers became Kobe's team and won 2 more championships in 2009 and 2010. 

Shaq may have had his disagreements with Kobe, but the pair will be forever connected because of everything they accomplished together on the most high-profile franchise in the NBA. They squashed their differences years before Kobe's untimely passing in 2020, something that weighed heavily on Shaq's mind on Kobe's birthday yesterday. He shared a beautiful graphic of Kobe with wings and wearing his snakeskin Lakers jersey and let the world know that he misses Kobe.

Kobe Bryant's death was one of the most devastating events in NBA history as generations of basketball fans mourned the passing of one of the greatest players in the history of the game.  

Shaq was amongst the many that mourned. They shared a locker room together for 7 years, and Kobe had a deep bond with Shaq's son, Shareef. On-court rivalries usually die out with time. In retirement, both Shaq and Kobe could appreciate the incredible things they achieved together.

In the 3 Finals that the Lakers won with Shaq and Kobe, O'Neal averaged a ridiculous 35.9 points, 15.2 rebounds, and 3.5 assists on 59.5% shooting. Bryant was still perfecting his craft and averaged 22 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.1 assists, on 42.5% shooting.