There Is No Rivalry

Where’s the alleged rivalry in tonight’s matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat?

The Heat own scoreboard in having the better record in head to head matchups against the Lakers since Shaquille O’Neal was traded in 2004.

They have the ultimate scoreboard in that they drew first blood in getting a championship ring since the dominant franchise of Shaqobe was dissolved.

The first few matchups were intriguing to see if the guys would outdo one another on a team, individual, or even pre-game hello categories. The league did a good job of isolating the games to be played on Christmas, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday, and even once on Halloween.

It’s no longer a Shaq v. Kobe matchup. It’s a Dwyane v. Kobe showdown. And that seems to be a surreal passing of the guard between a young veteran with huge mileage on his body (Kobe) and a slightly younger version of himself that seems to will himself to victory with his whole team on his back.

Shaq’s matchup is against his own body that most would agree he himself neglected.

So for those of you keeping score at home, it breaks down as follows:

Heat win in head to head play.

Heat win the first to get a ring category.

Shaq 4 rings – Kobe 3

Long term advantage in Shaq forced trade – Lakers

Hip replacement surgeries by coaches this season:

Phil 1-Riles 1

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