clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Shaquille O'Neal says Kobe Bryant is 'the greatest Laker ever'

New, comments

One-half of the most dominant one-two punch in NBA history had some nice things to say about his soon to retire teammate.

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal went to four NBA Finals together during their time with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning three of them. The two had countless breathlessly reported clashes, but since O'Neal he has seemed to soften his stance on Bryant, often complimenting his former teammate from afar.

When Kobe passed Shaq on the NBA's all-time scoring list in 2012, O'Neal called Bryant "the greatest Laker ever." When asked to speak about Bryant's legacy on Inside the NBA on Tuesday night, the always quotatious big man doubled down on that stance.

"Number one, [he is] the greatest Laker player ever," said Shaq. "It was amazing that he played with one franchise for 20 years. Did it his way. Accomplished everything he set out to accomplish. Remember when he first came in? He said he wanted to be better than Michael Jordan. [I was] like 'young fella, hold up,' but passed him up in points."

"One championship less than what Mike has, but to be the greatest Laker ever, I think that's an amazing accomplishment," Shaq continued. "They got Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar], they got Wilt [Chamberlain], they got Magic [Johnson], so I think him going out as the greatest Laker ever, going out the way he did, I think it's remarkable. Especially a guy that didn't go to college. He came from high school. And to accomplish all that, coming from high school, not going to college, I think is great."

Here is video of O'Neal's comments, courtesy of Whip Clip:

While Bryant's status as the greatest Laker ever is a point of contention for some, it's still an honor to have that title bestowed upon him by one of the other greatest players in the franchise's illustrious history.

You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.