The Suns play the Lakers tonight, so it's time to renew the decade's best ongoing drama: Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal. One recent twist had Shaq declaring, "I was part of the greatest one-two punch in Lakers history. Hopefully they still remember that."
Which brings up an interesting question: Is The Big Aristotle speaking truth?
Together, Shaq and Kobe were three-time champions with the Lakers. Apart, each has been the centerpiece of contending teams -- though never quite as successful as when they were the league's best tag-team combo.
But the competition is stiff: Has any team had more two-man combinations of all-time great players than the Lakers? Even the Celtics, for all their storied success, would have trouble coming up with a single pairing that would crack the Lakers' top four (save the hate mail 'til you see the list, Bostonians -- it's true).
Perhaps that's why this franchise has played in a league-record 29 NBA Finals and could make it 30 this spring -- they've almost always had at least one all-time great in the lineup, and most of the time they've had two.
If you guys don't feel like reading it, his Top 5:
5. George Mikan and Jim Pollard (1948-1954)
4. Elgin Baylor and Jerry West (1960-72)
3. Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain (1968-73)
2. Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal (1996-2004)
1. Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1979-89)