Shaq wasn’t the first great player to win a title with the Lakers, and he won’t be the last. Yay for the titles. . . now he needs to take his share of the blame for the fact the 2003-2004 Lakers fell apart.
I hear what people are saying about Shaq doing great things for the Lakers, but Shaq did so many little things during his time in Los Angeles that the media (locally and nationally) let slide, while Kobe Bryant was constantly roasted (most of the time deservedly so).
“If you don’t feed the big dog, I’m not gonna guard the house.” (i.e. give me the ball on offense or I ain’t playin defense) — the media thought that was hilarious. Imagine if Bryant had said that. “I got hurt on company time, I’ll have surgery on company time.” (that was when Shaq waited to have surgery right before the season started instead of the offseason).
And, no matter what he said, he was never willing to share the spotlight with Kobe the way he did with Wade (at least temporarily) or Nash (currently).
It’s also no coincidence that whenever he leaves a team, he leaves behind at least one teammate who he’s feuded with publicly (Anfernee (Penny) Hardaway, Kobe Bryant, and now half the Miami roster plus Pat Riley).
I appreciate those Laker teams, but I think Shaq receives TOO MUCH credit. Bryant did a lot of heavy lifting, especially during the Western Conference playoffs. Then, in the Finals, Shaq usually faced an East squad with no center and dominated and earned the Finals MVP honors. Also, guys like Robert Horry, Rick Fox, Ron Harper, Brian Shaw. . . they all made so many shots. Don’t get me wrong. Shaq made things so much easier for players like them. But people who say Shaq was the central figure and really disregard Bryant’s role in those title runs aggravate me.
Shaq is a great player, but I also think he’s a big time phony.