Kobe Bryant was one of the greatest players the NBA had ever seen. His ferocity on the court and off it, his determination to be the best and surpass his idol Michael Jordan, and his sheer natural talent led Kobe to become a 5-time NBA champion. Bryant won 2 Finals MVPs as well as the regular season MVP award in his career and truly was one of the faces of the league in his time.
Kobe’s tragic passing was the cause of a lot of grief and mourning among the NBA community, but it also brought up a lot of conversations about his legacy. Many believe Bryant is in the GOAT conversation, while others, like Kendrick Perkins, have gone as far as to suggest that Stephen Curry is above the Mamba.
And anytime Kobe’s claim to being one of the greatest has been challenged, it’s been Shaquille O’Neal that has stepped in to back his old teammate. A page recently shared a compilation of Shaq’s best quotes when it comes to promoting Bryant’s GOAT case.
« How come Kobe’s name is never brought up? I think it’s kind of disrespectful if you ask me. »
« Nobody, stop it. Nobody (is close to Kobe). Would you stop it? I don’t compare anybody to Mike, but if I had to answer the question, Kobe is the closest thing to Mike. And is there somebody that’s close to Kobe? No. »
« You said LeBron James is the greatest player ever? What about Michael and Kobe, you just gonna pass Kobe up like that? »
It’s wonderful to see Shaq defending Kobe’s legacy as much as he can, considering that the Mamba himself is no longer around to talk about it. Shaq and Kobe historically had their differences, but the mutual respect that has existed between them makes itself apparent time and time again, and this compilation is an excellent example of that.