During their time together, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal became one of the best duos in NBA history winning three-straight NBA titles as the faces of the Los Angeles Lakers. Although their relationship began to sour toward the end of O’Neal’s time in Los Angeles, the two future Hall of Famers have put their differences aside and appear to have genuine respect for one another.
Recently, O’Neal was asked about his former teammate and his recovery from Achilles surgery. Shaq believes Kobe will return much earlier than anticipated via Eric Pincus of the L.A. Times:
“I’m sure Kobe is going to come back early,” said Shaquille O’Neal in a video interview with Time Warner Cable SportsNet on Friday. “Anything before nine months is early. Him making the first game, I wish him well. He’s a very, very competitive kid. He loves the naysayers. He loves proving people wrong.”
All indications point to Kobe making a miraculous recovery from this Achilles injury, but it remains to be seen whether or not he’ll still be able to play at an elite level for the Lakers.
Although there’s no telling whether or not Kobe will remain on the best players in the NBA, Shaq is convinced his former teammate will be on the floor for the Lakers’ season opener via Pincus:
“When he put the rumor out there that he may be back the first game, best believe he’s trying to come back the first game,” continued O’Neal.”
With all the uncertainty moving forward, the upcoming NBA season could be another forgettable one for the Lakers. Despite that being the case, Kobe will likely be ready for the season opener against the division rival Los Angeles Clippers and prepared to prove all the doubters wrong once again.
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