Los Angeles Lakers: Has Pau Gasol Been Living Under Shaquille O’Neal’s Shadow?

Pau Gasol has been half of a dynamic duo with Kobe Bryant for four seasons now. He has helped the Lakers win two titles in three Finals appearances. He is arguably the second-best power forward currently in the game and one of most skilled big men the league has ever seen.

But is he living under Shaq's shadow?

Shaquille was the Finals MVP three years in a row for the Lakers and played the dominant role in his tandem with Kobe Bryant. He is one of the most entertaining athletes of all time and has been a fan favorite throughout his career.

Kobe and Shaq endured one of the toughest split-ups in NBA history after the 2004 Finals loss to the Pistons. That left the the two with a large amount of hatred between them.

The Lakers searched for three years until they found a fluke trade with the Grizzlies for Pau Gasol.

Gasol made them immediate title contenders and played a key role in getting them to the Finals three years in a row.

But the conception is that he hasn't nor ever will fill the hole that O'Neal left.

Shaq was a power player, using his brute-strength to back down defenders for easy buckets. He was a tough defender that was never afraid to give the occasional (or not-so-occasional) hard foul.

Pau is almost the complete opposite.

He is a finesse player with an emphasis on footwork and a soft touch around the rim (just as effective as Shaq though). He is a willing defender that can block some shots for you, but has never been the tough defender Shaq was.

So, has Pau helped the Lakers? Yes.

Did Shaq help the Lakers? Yes.

Is Shaq a Lakers' legend? Yes.

Is Pau a Lakers' legend? Yes.

Is Pau living under Shaquille's shadow? Undeniably, yes.

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