Kobe vs. Shaq: Who is more valuable? (Shaq – Kudiya)

By and

Let me start the argument by reminding everyone who reads this column that I hate the Lakers. I don’t like Shaquille O’Neal and I don’t like Kobe Bryant, but even I won’t say that neither of them are great players.

They are both great, but deciding who is the more valuable of the two players is too easy.

Every single team in the West that felt like they wanted to compete with Lakers prepared for one player. They signed players that would be able to guard him and all the focus was on the Diesel.

Shaq is clearly the MVP of that team and has been the most valuable player of that team in each of their title years.

There is simply no question on the matter. Kobe Bryant can go off for 40 points whenever he wants, but so can Tracy McGrady, Allen Iverson or even Vince Carter.

There are people who can score at will in this league, but making all the role players on your team look like very good players is the intangible quality that Shaq has.

Did I say intangible? I mean that 7-foot, 340-pound frame, which punishes any player that is trying to guard him.

I don’t like Shaq. I hate his offensive moves because most of them are offensive fouls, but regardless, he has three rings and the Lakers would not have even one championship in the ’90s without him.

The argument that comes from the long-haired freak in the column next to me is that Bryant is always clutch in the fourth quarter, while Shaq gets conservative, misses his free throws and Bryant has to save the day.

I will agree with the fact that Shaq can’t make free throws and I don’t know how the hell an NBA player can be that bad at shooting from the stripe.

Kobe can hit his free throws, hit the jump shot and be clutch, but you have to remember that he hardly ever gets double-teamed because the entire focus is always on the Big Aristotle.

In the clutch, Shaq may miss, and I will even concede that. But without him, they wouldn’t even have a chance to get into a situation where they would contend for a title.

Players like Devean George, Rick Fox, Derek Fisher and Brian Shaw have looked much better than they actually are, because they get so many open looks.

They are NBA players after all-if they are wide open, then they are going to hit their shots. Plain and simple.

That’s what Shaq brings to the table. A player who sucks in the defense-in the end, Bryant is guarded by one man, and he will win that matchup up 99 percent of the time.

The argument between who is a better player overall is a different story. Bryant is more talented, but you can’t teach 300 pounds.

Anyway, now the whole argument is moot.

The Lakers have Gary Payton and Karl Malone and they don’t even need Bryant. When they get him, God knows what is going to happen to the league.

But even if they never get him back, they are still the odds-on favorite to win the title.

With Shaq in the middle, along with a great power forward, the Lakers are unstoppable.

With Shaq on the team, Payton won’t see another double-team and neither will Malone.

Are you kidding me?

O’Neal changes the way everyone thinks about playing the Lakers, while Bryant is just another great shooting guard.

Remember-it’s not about most exciting or best player, it’s about who the most valuable player to his team is, and for the Lakers, that player is definitely Shaq.

Anyone who argues different is an idiot.

Wait…Chris Bellamy is an idiot. Everything makes sense now.

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