LOS ANGELES -- This was the rare truth in NBA superstar matchup hype, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade really did go head-to-head, as proven postgame when Bryant sported four stitches under his right eyebrow and Wade held an ice bag against his dome.
That was the result of a bump when Bryant reached in to knock the ball away from a driving Wade in the fourth quarter. And it was indicative of just how intense this matchup was.
"That's what it's all about," Wade said. "That's what you play for, the matchups."
The dynamic of this one has changed over the years, testy at times, but now simply a matter of mutual respect after they spent the summer together on the Olympic team.
"Early on we didn't have a relationship because of the whole Kobe-Shaq drama," said Wade, dragged into it by Shaquille O'Neal's trade to Miami that brought out the inevitable two-guard comparisons. "Over time we built the relationship, of course the Olympics, you get to respect somebody and know their family. I get Christmas cards, Thanksgiving cards from Kobe and his family all year. It makes it more competitive..."
and from the shaq article...this is a few paragraphs in, he's at staples for the clippers game
...So where would Shaq prefer to have his giant jersey hang?
"Hopefully it'll be here," he said, walking through the hallway in Staples Center. "I was part of the greatest one-two punch in Laker history. Hopefully they still remember that.
"In a perfect world, I have four teams, I'd be the first guy standing there with all four jerseys, number retired in all four places. It's not something I really think about. If I had my first wish, it would be here. Because when I first came here, I made the statement I would love to have my name next to Kareem and those greats..."