At Sunday's NBA All-Star game, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant reunited for the first time since losing game 5 of the 2004 NBA Finals June 15, 2004.
"The Big Legendaries," as Shaq dubbed the former tandem following the game, brought home co-MVP honors as Kobe scored 27 points while Shaq added 17 points in just 11 minutes.
Watching them back on the court again just made me wonder what these two could have done had they not quarreled and fought during their last few years together with the Lakers. They had an opportunity to win even more than the three consecutive championships they won from 2001 to 2003. You could even argue that they would have defeated the Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals if the two had gotten along.
But it wasn't to be. Shaq was traded to the Miama Heat following the 2004 Finals loss and went on to win his fourth NBA Championship alongside Dwayne Wade. In that Finals, Shaq was willing to do what he never would with Kobe, be the Robin to Wade's Batman.
Kobe, meanwhile, went on to be "The Man" with average to below average Lakers teams. He was finally able to be the leader of the team, but it came at the expense of winning championships.
Had Shaq and Kobe stayed together, as well as head coach Phil Jackson, it's not inconceivable to think they could have won two, three, maybe even four more titles between the 2004-05 season and last season.
It's just too bad two egos weren't able to fit into a city as large as Los Angelas.