KOBE Bryant named two of his favorite teammates of all time and Shaquille O'Neal is definitely not on the list.
According to KobeTeam.com, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar mentioned Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol as his two favorite teammates of all time during a Q&A at the Kobe Bryant Basketball Academy.
“There is two (sic). (Shaq?) No it’s not Shaq. But I loved Shaq. Me and Shaq won the thing but I didn’t particularly like playing with him too much. (Laughs) It’s easy. It’s Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol,” said the Black Mamba, who has played with a host of teammates in his 19 NBA seasons.
Fisher and Gasol stood out as Kobe’s favorites, having always been very close to both of them.
O’Neal undoubtedly was one of his most dominant teammates, although the Big Diesel’s laid-back attitude and demeanor often clashed with Bryant’s serious and driven personality, causing a rift that resulted in Shaq being traded after winning three championship rings with in LA.
Kobe and Gasol were extremely close to the point they call each other ‘brothers.’ When Gasol signed with the Chicago Bulls last season, the Spaniard said Kobe was one of the reasons he said it was so difficult to leave the Lakers.
Fisher is the only player who was part of the roster for all five of Kobe’s championships and was a co-captain in the later years. The unflappable guard was one of the players Kobe always trusted late in the game.
In his 20th season, Kobe will be leading a cast of young teammates he barely knows and as the elder statesman would serve as a mentor.
Whether he develops close relationships with the likes of D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Julius Randle remains to be seen.