Lakers great Kobe Bryant on if he’d draft LeBron James or Shaquille O’Neal in an All-Star draft
Some might think Kobe Bryant is still bitter with Shaquille O’Neal after the future Hall-of-Fame player said that he would draft LeBron James over his former teammate in an All-Star draft. But Bryant wasn’t showing hostility nor was he being disrespectful to one of the greatest players in the game. He was simply being practical.
Besides, Bryant and James have never been teammates in the NBA before even though they played together on USA Basketball in 2008.
Kobe Bryant was interviewed by ESPN’s Jemele Hill where he was asked to choose between Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James if he had the first pick in the draft for an All-Star Game.
“What year are we talking Shaq? … The Miami Heat first year? No, I’ll take LeBron James. You kidding me? If I had the opportunity [to draft Shaq at all], yeah I would. But LB man.”
You can see from the video that Bryant wanted to know which version of Shaq was in play here whether it was the Lakers, the Orlando Magic, or the Miami Heat version that he was getting. When told that it was the Heat’s O’Neal, Bryant knew right then and there that he was taking LeBron without question.
Interestingly, Bryant didn’t ask which version of James he was getting as well so he might be assuming that it’s the current one from the 2017-18 Cleveland Cavaliers.
James is currently averaging 26.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 8.7 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game, shooting 36.3% from three and 54.7% from the field overall.
The 2004-05 Shaq averaged 22.9 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 2.3 blocks on 60.1% field goal shooting.
Seeing those stats, if you were Kobe, who would you pick?