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Could Kobe Bryant and Shaq really have won twelve rings together if Shaq had stayed on the Lakers?

No. I’m going to say something that seems like blasphemy to some people particularly Lakers fans: the Shaq-Kobe duo is overrated. There I said it.

Now, before you come at me with pitchforks, hear me out: Shaq and Kobe were a great duo, but many people tend to put them at their #1 or #2 spots all time in terms of all time duos. I think this is slightly overrating them. Let’s look at their actual accomplishments together:

1998–1999: the Shaq-Kobe duo got bounced out of the playoffs by the Jazz and Spurs.

2000: Shaq-Kobe got taken to 7 games by the Portland Trail Blazers (with aging Pippen / Sabonis). They took 6 games to beat the 2000 Pacers in the Finals – the 2000 Pacers is not one of the all time great Finals teams people bring up.

2001: This is probably their only dominant playoff run together. They swept every team in the playoffs and defeated the 2001 76ers (also not one of the all time great Finals teams) in 5 games.

2002: Shaq-Kobe got taken to 7 games – again – by the Sacramento Kings this time. In the infamous Game 6, they needed several and I mean several ref calls to really go their way in order to win the game. Then they swept the 2002 Nets (again, not one of the all time great Finals teams).

2003: Shaq-Kobe duo got bounced out of the playoffs by Duncan’s Spurs.

2004: Shaq-Kobe acquired Payton/Malone and went all the way to the Finals, only to lose to the 2004 Pistons (with only one all star, Ben Wallace) – in 5 games.

So – consider this – people name the Shaq-Kobe duo as the greatest of all time. In reality – they almost lost to the Blazers in 2000, almost lost to the Kings in 2002, lost to the one all star Pistons in 2004, got bounced in 1998/1999/2003 and in their Finals wins won against inferior East teams. They had one great playoff run which was 2001. Are they really as good as people think they were?

Personally, I think the Malone-Stockton Jazz were a better duo – an unpopular opinion because they didn’t win any rings – but they were up against Michael Jordan’s Bulls in the Finals, a team that would wipe the floor with the 2000 Pacers or 2001 76ers or 2002 Nets. They also easily beat Shaq-Kobe en route to the Finals. So why do people think Shaq-Kobe is so much better than Malone-Stockton?

tldr; to answer the question, no I don’t think Shaq/Kobe would win 12 rings together if they stayed together. I’m doubtful they would have beat the 2005 Spurs the next season.

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Sports

Who are the greatest NBA players to never win a championship?

  1. Karl Malone
  2. Elgin Baylor
  3. Charles Barkley
  4. John Stockton
  5. Allen Iverson
  6. Chris Paul
  7. George Gervin
  8. Steve Nash
  9. James Harden
  10. Russell Westbrook
Categories
Sports

What is the best team in the past 15 years should have won a championship but didn’t?

-2000 Portland Trailblazers (lost to Lakers in 7)

-2002 Sacramento Kings (lost to Lakers in 7, controversially)

-2005 Detroit Pistons (lost to Spurs in 7)

-2006 Dallas Mavericks (lost to Heat in 6)

-2008 Los Angeles Lakers (lost to Celtics in 7)

-2011 Miami Heat (lost to Mavericks in 6)

-2013 San Antonio Spurs (lost to Heat in 7)

-2016 Golden State Warriors (lost to Cavs in 7 from up 3–1)

-2016 Oklahoma City Thunder (lost to Warriors in 7 from up 3–1)

-2018 Houston Rockets (lost to Warriors in 7)