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That time when two Lakers legends almost got into a first fight

By James Brown

That time when two Lakers legends almost got into a first fight

In the 1999 season, Lakers legends Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal almost got into a fist fight.

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The Lakers had one of the best moments of their history from 2000 to 2002. The team was led by future Hall of Famers Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal. They're recognized as one of the best duos of all time. However, according to both legends, in the 1999 season, the two players almost got into  a fist fight.

A few years ago, the late great Kobe Bryant revealed during an appearance on Shaq's podcast that,“In ’99, two things happened. Shaq realized this kid’s really competitive, and he’s really crazy. And I realized that I had a couple of screws loose because we got in a fist fight, and I was willing to get into a fist fight with this man. I gotta be either the dumbest, or most courageous kid, on the face of the earth".

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Shaquille O’Neal also added to the story that Kobe's courage showed him that he wouldn't back down against adversity. “We did that all the time. That just showed me that this kid ain’t gonna back down. And Kobe saw me punk everyone in the league! I knew then that if [our team] was down by one, I’m gonna kick it out to him and he do it,” concluded Shaq.

The duo would go on to win three championships together in a three-peat from 2000 to 2002. Shaq was named finals MVP all three years and won the regular MVP and the scoring title in 2000. Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant was selected to three all-star games at the same time.

The best duo ever?

Many could argue that the duo of Kobe and Shaq was one of the most dominant ever. They're definitely up there with Kareem and Magic, Scottie and Jordan. Something is clear, they are two of the most important players in Lakers history.


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