L.A. Lakers: Will Kobe Bryant or Shaquille O’Neal Have the Greater Legacy?

The careers of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal will forever be compared as a result of their eight seasons together in Los Angeles from 1996-2004. During that period, the dynamic duo led the Los Angeles Lakers to four NBA Finals appearances and three straight NBA titles from 2000-2002.  

Shaq was named the NBA Finals MVP during all three championship seasons and was without a doubt the most dominant player in the world at that time. During the 58-game playoff stretch from 2000-2002, Shaq averaged 29.9 points and 14.5 rebounds. By comparison, Kobe averaged 25.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists.  

What we have to keep in mind is those three seasons were Kobe's first "full" NBA seasons. He only started seven games in his first two seasons combined and played just 50 games in his third due to the lockout shortened season.  

Many people tend to forget that Kobe was only 21 years old when he won his first title; Shaq was 27 years old and already had seven NBA seasons under his belt. Everyone wants to compare the two during their time together in L.A., but in reality, the key to this debate is the paths their careers have taken in the nine seasons since the three-peat.  

Now let's take a look at who will leave the game with the better legacy when it's all said and done.

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