Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol will be teamed together at the All-Star game for the first time as Lakers teammates. Of course, that will be overshadowed by Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal playing together for the first time since the 2004 NBA Finals. O’Neal was named an All-Star for the 15th time in his career. Bryant has been picked 11 times and Gasol twice.
O’Neal was interviewed on ESPN this morning (taped, not live) and spoke again about how he and Bryant were the best one-two combination in the history of the league. He said he believed they might have won “six or seven” NBA titles had they stayed together. He said their feud was simply “marketing” and called Lakers coach Phil Jackson “the best ever.”
Asked if he would play Bryant and O’Neal together in the All-Star game, Jackson smiled wryly and said, “Of course. I wouldn’t miss that opportunity.”
The All-Star game is Feb. 15 in Phoenix. Bryant will start for the West and O’Neal and Gasol will serve as backups. Jackson will be the coach. Think there will be many interesting comments coming out of that weekend?