Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O'Neal has said that Kobe Bryant would be proud of LeBron James and Anthony Davis for leading the Purple and Gold to winning their 17th NBA Championship. Bryant, who helped the Lakers win five NBA Championships, tragically lost his life in a helicopter crash in 2020 January.
Before he tragically lost his life, Bryant attended some Lakers games at Staples Center and supported the new Lakers' super duo -- James and Davis. The Lakers, who clinched their 16th NBA title in 2010, won a record tying 17th NBA title last season after beating the Miami Heat 4-2 in the NBA Finals.
"After all that we went through [in 2020], it was a good ending for them to win the championship," O'Neal said, per ESPN. "I am sure if [Bryant] was still here, he would definitely be proud and showing his love and support on social media."
O'Neal says James and Davis will create their own legacy
O'Neal and Bryant played together for the Lakers between 1996 and 2004 and won three NBA titles in four NBA Finals appearances. James and Davis led the Lakers to a title in their first season together and now many wonder how many titles the two could win together.
Also, many have started comparing James and Davis to O'Neal and Bryant. "There will never be the next [Shaq and Kobe]," O'Neal said. "We don't need them to catch up to us," O'Neal said. "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 don't want to get into the situation where they can be the next us because there will never be a next us. Magic and Kareem can never be us. We could never be Magic and Kareem.
And we can never be LeBron and AD." O'Neal, who is considered as one of the most dominant big man in NBA history, was asked what challenges will Davis face now as a dominant big man defending his first championship.
"Well, I hate when you all put power forwards and big men in the same category," O'Neal said. "You should talk to Tim Duncan. Because power forwards and big men are two different categories. Period. "But I wish him well. My thing is just stay hungry. Why win one when you can win two, three or four."