Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal are considered by many to be the greatest one-two punch to ever step on a basketball court. Over their eight years together – which were far from easy at times – the pair made four NBA Finals appearances and won three championships, but what was it like when these two NBA legends first met each other?
Bryant recently told Jimmy Kimmel that the first thing that caught his attention when he met Shaq wasn’t his incredible size or playful manner, but his gigantic cellphone:
[pullquote]I think the first time…what did we do the first time? I think we went out to dinner at Jerry’s Deli in Beverley Hills and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world that he had a cellphone that was like, this big [holds hands far apart].[/pullquote]
It’s strange how weird little things such as this stick in your mind when you first meet someone.
This meeting between the two young players would be the beginning of something special; little did the pair know that despite forming a rocky relationship, they’d lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a three-peat and carve out their place in basketball history.
These days, Kobe and Shaq are on better terms. It appears that growing older allowed them to realize just how special their time together was, and now they’re able to appreciate each other’s talents and the accomplishments they earned together.
Let’s just hope that these days, when Kobe calls Shaq, the big man isn’t still answering that oversized cellphone.