2010 NBA Playoffs: Why the Kobe Bryant-Pau Gasol Duo Is Superior to Shaq-Kobe

Last week I posted a Facebook status that read: "As good as the Shaq-Kobe duo was, Kobe-Pau is better."

Within minutes I received a barrage of critical comments, including:

"That's just outrageously false."

"You're an idiot."

"[That is] almost as retarded of a statement as 'the Suns have a chance against the Lakers'."

And my personal favorite: "You are worse than the 'Fisher' 'Lies' girls."

With those sort of responses, you would think I said something along the lines of: "If LeBron James wants to take the fastest route to Championship Circle and Ring Road, he should sign with the Los Angeles Clippers" (the funny thing is: I truly believe that, but that is for a different debate).

In any event, it is undeniably understandable why many people may dispute my initial assertion.

After all, O'Neal and Bryant were the Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider of the Los Angeles Lakers teams that won three straight titles to begin the new millennium—teams that secured 67 wins during the 1999-00 regular season (the most by the boys in purple and gold since 1971-72) and finished the 2000-01 postseason 15-1 (an NBA record).

In doing so, the tandem developed a dynasty that could have very well crowned Shaq and Kobe the most prodigious one-two punch in franchise history and arguably the best that the NBA has ever seen.

There is no need to rehash the egotistical onslaught that occurred over time and ultimately unleashed O'Neal from L.A., nor is there a rational reason to point fingers more than five years after the fact, but the break-up was about as bad as a non-romantic relationship can get.

Fast-forward six seasons and the Lakers are two games away from forging their third Finals appearance in as many years—all because of the Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn-like faction, better known as Bryant and Gasol.

Just as the Ferrell-Vaughn movi...

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