In eight seasons together Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal made the playoffs in each and won three consecutive titles. Having one of the greatest shooting guards right next to one of the most dominant centers in NBA history will do that for you. Winning doesn't solve everything though, Kobe and Shaq were at each other's necks even during the 2000-2002 dynasty. When bringing home Larry O'Brien trophies stopped becoming a tradition each season, things got worse. Bryant reportedly told authorities he should've just paid off his accuser like Shaq does during his sexual assault investigation in the summer of 2003, which put even more strain on their relationship.
The team's collapse in the 2004 NBA Finals against Detroit led to Shaq being traded to Miami in exchange for Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Brian Grant and a first-round draft pick. Bryant signed a $136 million contract the day after Shaq left. Literally. The result? The Lakers missing the playoffs for the first time since the 1993-94 season in 2004-05 and making first-round exits from 2005-2007. Shaq went on to win a ring in the 2005-06 season and Kobe picked up another two in 2009 and 2010, but how many could they have won together? Sadly, we'll never know.