In some corners of Lakerdom today there is bitterness that Shaquille Oâ€™Neal went on to win a title in Miami, and to do it before Kobe got his. Not in my heart, however. Iâ€™m happy he cemented a well-deserved legacy as one of the games all-time great centers.
What he did in Miami does not diminish or tarnish the three titles in LA, nor does it diminish Kobe or his role in them. Only small minds who donâ€™t love the game think that way. Those were different Shaqs on different teams. He brought me many joyous memories, and Iâ€™m not bitter that heâ€™s doing well 3,000 miles away.
Yes, I have had my frustrations and disappointments with Shaq. I wish he and Kobe could have figured out how to coexist in the same locker room. I wish Shaq had shown the dedication to conditioning he had under Riley the last couple years he was in Los Angeles. I wish I could have seen him jump out and show on the pick-and-roll at Staples Center like he did in Dallas.
Father time was telling Shaq it was time to be more like Kareem to Magic rather than the big dog, but maybe he needed a change of scenery to see that. So be it. Like after a relationship had crumbled with a long-time girlfriend, I have moved on. And Iâ€™m happy to see heâ€™s done well.