According to Kobe Bryant books “Mamba Mentality,” Shaquille O’Neal called Tim Duncan soft before the second round between the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs.
Kobe wrote about how did Shaq respond if he’s ready about the battle.
“We were about to move on from the first round of the 1999 playoffs.
I remember asking Shaq if he was ready. “For what?” he questioned.
“This boy we’re seeing in the next round, “I replied.
“Nah the other one“.
“He’s soft,” Shaq said.
“I’ve been watching him all year,” I responded. “and he’s a problem you’re going to have to deal with.“
“Shaq sort of waved it off” By the time Spurs finished sweeping us, Tim Duncan had averaged something like 30 points. He was already on my radar but after that series? Wow. I realized San Antonio would be a threat we’d have to deal with for all of eternity.”
On that second-round matchup which the Spurs swept the Lakers, Tim Duncan had averages of 29 points, 10.7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks per game. Then two series later, the Spurs win their first championship with Tim Duncan became the Finals MVP.
When the Lakers dominated the NBA for the next three years and favorite to complete a four feat run, Tim Duncan had another idea to stop that dynasty. The Spurs legend had the greatest title run that it’s very difficult to duplicate or surpass by anybody. San Antonio is the champion for the second time which again they dominated the Los Angeles Lakers in-game six.
Before the tragic death of the late Kobe Bryant, he’s praising his nemesis, Duncan. On how good the Big Fundamental to stop them from winning for ten straight years without Duncan and the Spurs.
Tim Duncan a quite no emotion guy show a few tears about his rival when the news came out. While Shaquille O’Neal did nothing but jealous of Tim Duncan’s achievement.