It's better this way, with Kobe on one side of the fence and Shaq on the other.
It doesn't matter how many titles they won together. They're going down in the books as adversaries; and up until now, their rivalry's defining moments have come by way of open microphones and snide sound bites. Finally, we get the goods. We get to see this thing take shape on the floor. The soap opera pouts and poses will still be the background; but come Saturday, they won't be the whole show.