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Shaquille O’Neal believes Kobe Bryant should be part of the GOAT debate

the6man May 23

Shaquille O'Neal Kobe Bryant
Photo: MATT CAMPBELL / Getty Images

Shaquille O’Neal said the late Kobe Bryant should be included in the GOAT debate alongside LeBron James and Michael Jordan.

Bryant and O’Neal were teammates at the Los Angeles Lakers and won three titles together (2000, 2001, 2002). Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on January 26, took two more titles (2009, 2010) and retired as a five-time NBA champion.

“I would think [their mentality] is pretty much the same. I have never really spent a lot of time with Mike, but of course I would say that it is pretty much the same when I see him win a championship, how he behaves and how he wants the ball at the last second.

And Kobe made a great point: We all look at the players in front of us and do something for them. I wanted to be mean like Patrick Ewing in the post, I wanted to speak like David Robinson, I wanted to dominate like Wilt Chamberlain.

The only difference is that Kobe could have a phone number and could have a relationship with these guys. The rest of us just had to see other people emulate and steal what they had. But I’m actually glad that they had a relationship.

Many people always ask, “Who is the best player in the game: Jordan?” LeBron? “I think you need to add Kobe respectfully in this conversation,” O’Neal said to Stephen A. Smith from ESPN.

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