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Insider

Why Shaq's departure ultimately paid off for Lakers

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What does the future hold for Kobe?

Chris Broussard discusses Kobe Bryant's future with the Lakers and whether he'll play for another team when his contract with Los Angeles is up.

This week's podcast reuniting former Los Angeles Lakers teammates Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal has inevitably led to speculation about what might have happened had O'Neal not requested a trade because of his feud with Bryant. Might the Lakers have won the seven championships O'Neal told Bryant he wished they'd won together?

I don't think such continued success was realistic for Bryant and O'Neal with the Lakers. Going one step further, I think the numbers suggest that trading O'Neal when they did was actually the best thing the Lakers could have done in terms of their long-term success.