Kobe Bryant would have been completely satisfied for LeBron James and Anthony Davis winning the Los Angeles Lakers’ seventeenth NBA title, Shaquille O’Neal advised ESPN.
“After all that we went through [in 2020], it was a good ending for them to win the championship,” O’Neal stated. “I am sure if [Bryant] was still here, he would definitely be proud and showing his love and support on social media.”
O’Neal — who’s partnering with Pepsi Stronger Together to carry a charitable vacation market at Nashville’s Jones Paideia Elementary Magnet School to supply meals and leisure for college kids and their households on Friday — was completely satisfied to see the Lakers, James and Davis win a title after Bryant’s dying in January, however does not need the duo to attempt to stay up to comparisons to him and Bryant. The Hall of Fame teammates received three straight championships with the Lakers from 2000 to 2002.
“There will never be the next [Shaq and Kobe],” O’Neal stated.
The Hall of Fame center stated James and Davis will forge their personal legacy.
“We don’t need them to catch up to us,” O’Neal stated. “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.
“We do not need to get into the state of affairs the place they are often the following us as a result of there’ll by no means be a subsequent us. Magic and Kareem can by no means be us. We may by no means be Magic and Kareem. And we will by no means be LeBron and AD.”
O’Neal also made it clear that Davis is not a center when asked what Davis will face now as a dominant big man defending his first championship.
“Well, I hate while you all put power forwards and large males in the identical class,” O’Neal said. “You ought to speak to Tim Duncan. Because power forwards and large males are two completely different classes. Period.
“But I wish him well. My thing is just stay hungry. Why win one when you can win two, three or four.”
The duo are each below contract with the Lakers for at the least the following three seasons, with James signed by 2023 and Davis by 2025.