In a recent interview with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on the All The Smoke podcast, Shaq reflected on what made the Spurs dynasty so special. He highlighted the fact that unlike so many dynasties of the past 30 years, the Spurs never had any internal problems.
“That’s probably the first time I’m hearing about a dynasty that never had no problems,” Shaq said, via Fansided. “All the other dynasties had problems.”
Shaq’s not wrong. The Jordan Bulls’ internal strife was well-documented during last year’s landmark docuseries The Last Dance.
Meanwhile, everyone knows what went wrong with Shaq and Kobe on the Lakers as they won several NBA titles together. And of course there were all kinds of controversies surrounding the LeBron James Big 3 with the Miami Heat and the Golden State Warriors.
Between 1999 and 2007, the San Antonio Spurs won five NBA titles. They had to knock off Shaq, Kobe, Phil Jackson and the Lakers twice in order to win those chips.
Shaq’s departure after the 2003-04 season made it a little easier for the Spurs to dominate the West though. After playing the Lakers in the playoffs four previous years, the Spurs didn’t see Kobe in the playoffs again until 2008.
Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Gregg Popovich and the rest of that team were an ever-present force in the West for years afterwards. They made the NBA Finals two more times in 2013 and 2014, splitting chips with the Miami Heat.
Shaq may not have liked losing to the Spurs all of those times, but he has a respect for how they conducted themselves.