The LA Lakers are the last team in the NBA to win three consecutive NBA titles. During that span, the Lakers had two of the best players in basketball in Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. O’Neal and Bryant are one of the best duos in NBA history. The two dominated on the court together.
The NBA community grieved a lot when Bryant passed away, and O’Neal was very hurt when he heard the news. In the coming future, there will be a statue outside of the Staples Center honoring Bryant, and O’Neal had an idea about what the statue could be.
Bryant and O’Neal, a dynamic duo in LA
The Lakers took advantage of having O’Neal and Bryant together on the same team for numerous years. When the two first got together during the 1996-97 season, it was only a matter of time before they would dominate the league. Here you have two players, both dominant at their positions, and they knew how to play well together.
When O’Neal and Bryant won their first title in 2000, they got a taste of what it was like to be on top of the world as champions. They both knew that they could go on to win more titles in the future, and that’s exactly what they did. From 2000 to 2002, the NBA knew the Lakers would compete for a title simply because of O’Neal and Bryant.
It’s not easy winning a championship, but O’Neal and Bryant did it three consecutive times. A dynasty was built in LA thanks in large part to O’Neal and Bryant. What those two did together in LA will never be forgotten.
The LA Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns was a memorable series during the 2006 playoffs
The Lakers took on the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the 2006 playoffs. That was one of the most exciting series during the playoffs that year. Both teams went back and forth each game, and the series went seven games. The Lakers took a commanding 3-1 lead, but the Suns overcame the next three and took the series.
Bryant led all scorers averaging 27.9 points during the series, but that wasn’t enough for the Lakers. The Suns came together to defeat the Lakers, and numerous players contributed in significant ways. During Game 6, Bryant dropped 50 points, but the Lakers lost 126-118, and Game 7 was all Phoenix as they won 121-90.
Bryant’s iconic shot against the Suns in Game 4
Even though the Lakers lost in the first round, Bryant put together some impressive performances. One shot that is iconic in Bryant’s career is the game-winner he hit against the Suns in Game 4. With 10 seconds left to play, the Lakers were trailing 90-85. Bryant hit a three to bring the deficit to two points, and then the Lakers stole the ball from the Suns, and Bryant hit a lay-up to tie the game and force overtime.
In overtime, the game was tight and went down to the final seconds. Bryant did what he has always done throughout his career, and that’s hit big shots. With 6.1 seconds left in overtime, the Lakers trailed the Suns 98-97. The Lakers won a jump ball, and Bryant had the ball in his hands. As time was running out, Bryant drove to the hole and put up a mid-range shot over Raja Bell and Boris Diaw, and as time expired, the ball went right through the net. Bryant won the game as he did so many times in his career.
In an article from Slam, O’Neal had a conversation with Dorell Wright on The Player Tribune’s Text Message Talk Show, and he recommended that shot as the pose for Bryant’s statue. There are many different poses to choose from throughout Bryant’s career, but O’Neal really enjoys that pose, and who knows, that could be the one they decide to go with.