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Kobe vs. Shaq: The Lakers from 1997-2004

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Over and Back NBA Podcast

Over and Back NBA Podcast

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The Over and Back Classic NBA podcast returns with our contribution to the HP Basketball Network's special #KobeWeek — a in-depth look at the NBA's most storied feud: Kobe Bryant vs. Shaquille O'Neal. Jason and Rich begin with an overview of the tandem, how long they played together, how they came to form a powerful dynasty, how the feud is covered today versus coverage at the time, why there are no books or longform essays on the subject, a look at the Lakers supporting cast around Kobe/Shaq and how the duo matches up with duos of year's past including Magic Johnson/Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan/Scottie Pippen and John Stockton/Karl Malone. In part one, we look at the pre-Phil Jackson Lakers, starting with a strong playoff team with a nucleus of Elden Campbell, Cedric Ceballos, Nick Van Excel, Vlade Divac and Eddie Jones. We discuss the trade that sent Divas to the Charlotte Hornets for the high schooler Bryant, the massive risk at the time and hindsight regarding the trade. Topics in this section include Del Harris and Kurt Rambis coaching tenures, jealously from both Shaq and Kobe, Shaq's unwillingness to "babysit" the younger Bryant and much more. Part two looks at The Title Years with Phil Jackson at the helm and a solid supporting cast of Derek Fisher, Rick Fox and Robert Horry. Discussions include how dominant their dynasty was but also Kobe/Shaq's continued jealousy towards one another, how Phil Jackson dealt with it and which side teammates took. The last portion, The Self-Destruction of the Los Angeles Lakers, looks primarly at the failed 2003-04 experiment bringing Gary Payton and Karl Malone to the Lakers, Kobe Bryant's sexual assault allegations and the eventual break-up of the Shaq/Kobe/Jackson Lakers dynasty.

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