DThere has been plenty said about the relationship between Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant over the years. Much of it has been focused on their to time together with the Los Angeles Lakers. According to LA Daily News’ Mark Medina, former Lakers head coach Phil Jackson believes that the Triangle offense helped the dynamic together.
“By having an offense that was focused on really putting the ball in the middle of the center and having that triangle system in place, that gave the whole emphasis to the team to put the ball inside and we can dominate at this particular position,” Jackson said on “The Big Podcast with Shaq” for an episode released on Monday. “As the game goes on, whether it’s situations presenting itself or Shaq is out of the game, Kobe had an opportunity to do things that are important to his game and find a way to contribute.”
“(Kobe) was concerned about averaging points and where my points were going to come from,” Jackson said. “But he found a way to do that inside of what we were trying to do as a team. There was a little struggle in there at times with that. But the two of them when the game was on the line, they were tremendous together.”
There’s obviously more to this puzzle than what meets the eye. The two shared alpha dog personalities that made it hard to work cohesively together for long periods of time. It eventually became a ticking tick time bomb until their issues became too much to handle each other.
Jackson is correct that the Triangle offense kept them together because of the three championships they won in four attempts. Without it in place, the talent of these two incredible players would have struggled to round that can win an NBA title. It was a pairing that clearly needed to rounded into form and Jackson did that with their offensive game plan.