“Kobe can’t get a ring before me” – Shaquille O’Neal’s BEEF with Kobe Bryant helped Dwyane Wade and Heat pull off surprise NBA title win

Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant secured three championships as teammates with the Los Angeles Lakers


“Kobe can’t get a ring before me” – Shaquille O’Neal’s BEEF with Kobe Bryant helped Dwyane Wade and Heat pull off surprise NBA title win

Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal (Credits: Twitter and ABC News)

Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant secured three championships as teammates with the Los Angeles Lakers, yet their relationship had soured significantly by the arrival of 2004.

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Shaquille O’Neal became widely known for his trade to the Miami Heat, where he teamed up with the emerging superstar guard Dwyane Wade. In an interview with Shannon Sharpe, Wade disclosed the primary objective that Big Diesel had in mind when he became part of the team.

“I remember, we were 16 games into the new season. Miami Heat 10-6, we had a meeting led by Shaq. He went the f**k off because we had the same record as the Lakers. You know what we did, we went on a 12-game winning streak… He didn’t want to be on the same pace as the Lakers.”

When asked about what Shaq was like when he got to the Heat, Wade said, “He wanted another ring, it wasn’t no secret. ‘Kobe can’t get a ring before me. It wasn’t a secret in Miami. We all knew.’ “ He further added, “There wasn’t any social media, I didn’t really know about the beef, right?”, and also, “The internal beef that people talk about, I still don’t know. Shaq and I didn’t talk a lot about that, that wasn’t our relationship.”

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Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant had a rivalry over their roles as the dominant figure during their tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers. Therefore, it’s logical to assume that O’Neal was eager to start winning immediately after departing from the team. He successfully accomplished this objective as well, with the Miami Heat securing the 2006 NBA championship, three years before the Lakers would taste victory once more.

Shaq and Kobe’s rivalry continued even after Shaq won his fourth championship. Kobe won two more titles, which made Shaq so angry that he destroyed his house after Kobe won his fifth ring. The two eventually reconciled before Kobe’s death, but their greatness and rivalry will never be forgotten by those who saw it.

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Shaquille O’Neal’s Miami Heat journey & spot on the All-NBA first-team

Upon joining the Miami Heat, Shaquille O’Neal arrived with a burning desire to put on show his exceptional skills. In his opening season with the team, he came remarkably close to winning the MVP award, ultimately losing out to Steve Nash. Nevertheless, O’Neal’s performance was outstanding, as he averaged 22.9 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game.

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Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O’Neal (Credits: ESPN)

These achievements earned him recognition as an All-Star and a spot on the All-NBA First Team. Interestingly, despite his impressive contributions, the Heat didn’t secure an NBA championship until the following season, causing that particular year to often slip from the memory of fans

Shaquille O’Neal concluded his career as the 2000 NBA MVP, the Finals MVP three times (2000-2002), and a four-time NBA champion (2000-2002, 2006). In addition to winning the NBA MVP award in 2008, Kobe Bryant won five championships (2000–2002, 2009–2010) and twice won the MVP of the Finals (in 2009 and 2010)

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