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Shaquille O'Neal Revealed What Jerry West Told Him When Recruiting Him To The Los Angeles Lakers In 1996: "He Told Me The Truth. I Would Have A Young Team And A Guy Named Kobe. You're Going To Win Championships."

Shaquille O'Neal Revealed What Jerry West Told Him When Recruiting Him To The Los Angeles Lakers In 1996: "He Told Me The Truth. I Would Have A Young Team And A Guy Named Kobe. You're Going To Win Championships.

The Los Angeles Lakers were the last team to three-peat, and they did it while being powered by arguably the most iconic duo of all time in Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal. Shaq became only the second player after Michael Jordan to win 3 consecutive Finals MVPs, and the Lakers were a dynasty once again. 

With O'Neal leaving for Miami, things may have gone south after, but the decision to bring him in and pair him up with Kobe Bryant was a fantastic one. The architect behind that team, as with many excellent teams in NBA history, was none other than Lakers legend Jerry West. And Shaq once revealed exactly what West told him in 1996 that got him to join the Lakers. 

“When I was leaving Orlando, he brought me here and told me the truth. I would have a young team and a guy named Kobe. That guy’s going to be good but in a couple of years you’re going to have championships.”

Acquiring Bryant and O'Neal simultaneously and allowing them to grow together is one of the best decisions the Lakers ever made, and it netted them 3 championships to start the new millennium. Kobe would go on to add more later in his career, but he first reached those amazing heights playing alongside Shaq. 

As teams look to replicate the success those teams enjoyed, it's important to remember that nothing matters more in the NBA than acquiring the right talent. With superstars like Kevin Durant potentially on the move via trade, it would take someone like West to make some magic happen again. 

The NBA is driven by its superstars; the players have always been what makes the league so great, and O'Neal is one of the biggest legends ever. His prime will go down in history as arguably the most dominant ever, and the Lakers will always have Jerry West to thank for ensuring that it happened in the Purple and Gold.