With a Championship secured, LeBron James and Anthony Davis have officially etched their names in Lakers history as one of the franchise's great star duos. Even as James turns 36 later this month, many expect continued success for the Lakers in the next few years to come. Who knows much more will James and Davis accomplish together?
According to Lakers legend Shaquille O'Neal, however, no matter what the pair does going forward, it will never quite match the legacy he and Kobe built together back in the early 2000s. Speaking to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk, O'Neal explained why there will never be another “Shaq and Kobe."
“There will never be the next [Shaq and Kobe],” O’Neal said. “We don’t need them to catch up to us,” O’Neal said. “Kobe and myself were not trying to catch Magic [Johnson] and Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] … Kobe and I, [our] legacy will never be duplicated. Or imitated.”
It's no secret that the early 2000s Lakers were almost unbeatable. Winning three straight titles behind the backs of Kobe and Shaq at the height of their powers, it's tough for anyone today to live up to that level of greatness, especially for a duo that has only been together for one season.
Still, the opinion wasn't limited to the AD/Lebron duo specifically. As Shaq explained, he and Kobe never tried to be like Magic and Kareem, either, because there could never be another Magic and Kareem.
“We don’t want to get into the situation where they can be the next us because there will never be a next us,” O’Neal added. “Magic and Kareem can never be us. We could never be Magic and Kareem. And we can never be LeBron and AD.”
Many stars have donned the Purple and Gold throughout the franchise's illustrious existence. With 17 Championships to show for it, and a fanbase that stretches far and wide, the lure and glamour of being a Laker is unmistakable.
But perhaps being a star player on the Lakers means building a new legacy, not building over the many stories and legends from seasons passed.
While Bron and Davis have found ultimate success in just their first year together, and more might still come, the comparisons to Shaq and Kobe probably aren't going to get anywhere -- at least not as long as Shaq himself has anything to say about it.