The Los Angeles Lakers is a basketball team that has established a reputation for having Hall of Fame players and bringing home championships. This may not be the case lately, but that's not what this article is about. They've had players like Jerry West, who has come to be known as "The Logo" because his image is the inspiration for the National Basketball Association logo. Players like Ervin "Magic" Johnson, who is now president of basketball operations for the Lakers and even the c0-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. These are just two of a host of iconic Laker players.
Two of the most famous of recent years are Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. Their partnership brought the Laker franchise 3 titles together, and Kobe brought another 2 after Shaq was traded. One of the major, underlying stories during this time was the "rivalry" that existed between these two. They've said in interviews that they were two great players pushing to get the best out of one another. It was a captivating story for the media and fans.
Now that they're both retired, we still like to look back on the rivalry. One way that we can do that now is by looking at how their garages have compared over the years. Here are 10 cars that Shaq currently has or previously owned vs 10 cars the Kobe owns or has owned over the years.
20 Shaq: Ford F-650
We're all aware of the famous F-Series trucks of Ford, but most of us had no idea that they make an F-650 "Extreme." Well, they do. Shaq has one in his garage, and he's the kind of guy who needs one. He stands at 7'1" tall, so he's not the kind of guy who's going to fit inside your average car or a pickup truck, for that matter. Like this one, many of his vehicles will be customized to accommodate his size.
These trucks have a price tag of over $100,000, and they need to be ordered months before delivery to allow for build time.
Shaq's has all the modern comforts that he could want with a 6.7-liter Powerstroke V8 pumping over 330 horses.
19 Shaq: Stretch Lambo
A Lamborghini is the kind of car that many people dream of being able to drive, let alone own, when they get older. Shaquille O'Neal knew he had to have one. Does something look off about this Lambo to you? Well, in order to compensate for his size, Shaq had this one stretched out by a foot in the roof, doors, and windows to fit his frame.
The work was carried out by the Gaffoglio Family Metalcrafters.
It's a company that specializes in car and aerospace fabrication and customization. It was a challenge to accomplish the stretch and, at the same time, maintain the iconic look of a Lamborghini.
18 Shaq: Mercedes-Benz 550 S-Class
Shaq is the kind of guy that wants to ride in style and isn't afraid to make it happen. For Shaq to be comfortable, customizations are a given part of the process. This Mercedes S-Class was customized with suicide doors and his legendary Superman emblems in the floor mats. It's your average Mercedes with all of the comforts, a V8 engine, and automatic transmission. Guys like him like to keep things fresh, and this car was sold at a Barrett-Jackson auction in 2011 for $99,000. Whoever got this car is either a huge Shaquille O'Neal fan or a huge man in general.
17 Shaq: Cadillac Escalade
This Escalade is as unique as the man himself. It has custom Lamborghini-style doors; the famed Superman logo on the front grille, on the tailgate, and in the headrests; and a full Lexani body kit. He also made sure to put the largest possible rims on there, which happen to be 26 inches. He's the kind of guy who likes to stand out in a crowd, and he wants to make an entrance. He also isn't afraid of a little power in his gas pedal as seen in how he made sure to have a supercharger through a combination of a US-made luxury SUV and US-produced horsepower.
16 Shaq: Porsche Panamera
Like the rest of his cars, he had his 2011 Porsche Panamera, like the one shown above, customized to fit him. Unlike many of his rides, though, this one was largely left stock. All he really had done was have the seat pushed back in order to fit his size and custom 22-inch rims. It was even a surprise that he had the 6-cylinder Panamera 4. Then again, when it comes to Porsche, there isn't much customization that needs to be done to the car to make it an incredible car to drive. Many of the customizations that he's done to his cars are done by the famed California shop West Coast Customs.
15 Shaq: Vaydor
These cars are custom made by a company in St. Petersburg called 'Supercraft Custom Crafted Cars.'
These cars are based on the 2004-2007 generation of the G35 Infiniti. You may recognize it as the Joker's car in 'Suicide Squad.'
Only 20 of these cars are made every year, and though they come with a price tag of only $40,000, good luck getting your hands on one. Shaq Diesel took delivery of one of these at the beginning of 2019 as a gift for himself, of course, with the necessary customizations for his size. That's one awesome gift.
14 Shaq: Vanderhall Venice Roadster
This 3-wheeled roadster, (yes, 3-wheeled) is a unique car that comes with a 1.4-liter 16-valve turbocharged engine and is a fun way to get around. Jamie Foxx was also seen cruising around in one of these. Shaq had to have his customized by West Coast Customs so that it could be extended 12 inches, allowing him to fit in it comfortably. This is one of the vehicles that sit in his garage currently. This is a vehicle that allows you to look cool and enjoy a great drive along the Pacific Coast Highway. Shaq is one of those guys that like to be the first one with something or want in on it as soon as possible.
13 Shaq: Polaris Slingshot
It must be good to be rich. No, you're not having vision issues; this is a Polaris Slingshot with 4 seats. Shaquille O'Neal doesn't do anything quietly or in an understated manner. He's the kind of guy who seems to go by the motto of "go big, or go home." Underground AutoStyling in Sarasota, Florida was responsible for this serious customization. It definitely had to be stretched, but there are no official declarations about how much stretching was done. There's a full audio system equipped in this Slingshot and custom leather interior throughout. It's an impressive machine that anyone would be proud to park in his driveway.
12 Shaq: Custom Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van
He purchased his van from Sprinter Vans of America and even gives a shoutout to the salesman, Sterling, on his Facebook. He's a man that loves his cars and loves to drive, but even Shaq wants to have a chauffeur every once in a while. He made sure to have all of the custom comforts and modern technology in this van, including television screens, plush leather captains chairs, and a bumping sound system. This is one vehicle that he didn't have to customize in order for him to be able to ride in it.
11 Shaq: Rolls-Royce Phantom
Shaq, like many other rich and famous, is a big fan of these British luxury machines. These cars are symbols of status and wealth, and they're a huge reflection of the owner. O'Neal is such a fan that he's even given one of them to a legendary teammate as a gift. At one point in his career, he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and was teammates with LeBron James. For LeBron's 25th birthday, he gave LeBron a white Rolls-Royce Phantom. Talk about a great friend with money to spare...
10 Kobe: Ferrari 458 Italia
Kobe Bryant is a 5-time NBA Champion, and he likes the best. He definitely got that for the 458 Italia he bought in 2012. He's been photographed around Los Angeles in his car because what good is a sports car if you aren't going to drive it?
This car came stock with a 4.5-liter V8 with a monstrous 562 horsepower.
This car is an example of what Ferrari does: Italian sports cars. These are the cars that little boys and girls have posters of in their rooms when they're young. Kobe probably had a Ferrari poster on his wall and was able to realize his dream.
9 Kobe: Lamborghini Murcielago
Kobe Bryant was featured on the cover of DUB Magazine while sitting on the front of his Murcielago in 2004. In the 9 years that these cars were produced, there were just 4,099 of them made, and one of them is Kobe's. These cars have a mean 6.5-liter V12 engine that can produce around 570 horsepower. These cars were produced from 2001 to 2010, and at the time that the DUB cover was taken, these cars were a serious symbol of status, fame, and wealth, and Kobe was demonstrating just that.
8 Kobe: Bentley Continental GT
Many people don't realize that Kobe Bryant's father was "Jellybean" Bryant who had a stint in the NBA. In 1984, his father's NBA career ended, but he moved the family to Italy so he could continue to play basketball for the Italian League. Kobe's family would remain in Italy until they returned to Philadelphia in 1991. This experience in Europe may contribute to the taste that Kobe has for his cars. We'll look at other European cars that he has inside his garage, and this isn't the only Bentley.
7 Kobe: Ferrari F430
This is another Ferrari owned by the now-retired Kobe Bryant. He's a man that knows what he likes and doesn't settle. Shaq was the kind of guy who likes his cars customized (not just to suit his size) to include his emblem and the things that he liked in a car.
Kobe Bryant chooses the cars that he thinks are perfect just the way that they were made.
It goes to show the difference in their personality, as Shaq was a little more of a colorful guy as compared to Kobe's quiet "Mamba" mentality.
6 Kobe: Lamborghini Aventador
Kobe has established a trend in the cars that he buys. He likes European cars, and he likes them to be able to go really fast. The Aventador has a top speed of around 220 miles per hour. Most people would consider themselves lucky if they're able to buy either a Lamborghini or a Ferrari, but Kobe knew he wanted both. The one thing that Lamborghini does do to set itself apart from Ferrari is incorporate those amazingly, distinct futuristic body lines. They caught Kobe's attention.
5 Kobe: Bentley Azure Mulliner
This British luxury convertible is a way for Kobe to get speed and luxury at the same time. The convertible top is perfect for those sunny California days and a great car to take the wife out in. He has a taste that's all his own, and he's not afraid to show off what he likes. The power part comes from the capable turbocharged V8 motor under the hood. It allows him to get where he wants quickly while maintaining all of the luxurious amenities that come with being lucky enough to drive a Bentley.
4 Kobe: Jeep Wrangler "Call of Duty: Black Ops" Edition
Call of Duty is one of the most successful video game series in history. They decided that when there was a new version of the game coming out, they wanted to acquire the face of one of the most successful basketball players of all time to help them promote it. Kobe Bryant pulled up to the Staples Center in the 2011 limited edition in support of the new Call of Duty game. This isn't the first time that Kobe has lent his services to a video game; he did a Guitar Hero commercial a few years earlier.
3 Kobe: 1964 Impala
Kobe Bryant retired in 2016 after spending his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. When he retired, he was a 5-time NBA Champion, an 18-time NBA All-Star, and had League and Finals MVPs all on his resume. His name has become as synonymous with the Lakers as Magic and West. Another L.A. legend, Snoop Dogg, decided to give a great gift to the Laker legend. It was a fully customized 1964 Impala lowrider. It has a full purple and gold Laker paint job with 'Lakers' embroidered in the headrests. That's one hell of a gift and a beautiful car.
2 Kobe: Cadillac Escalade
Kobe Bryant is the father of three girls, and he needs to have a family car for those weekend road trips and for carpooling to his daughter's basketball games. The Escalade has become a way for the wealthy to have a family car that still offers the look and the luxury they want.
This US-made luxury SUV has become a staple for wealthy families across the United States.
It carries the amazing history that the Cadillac name has to offer in the form of being high-end and family friendly.
1 Kobe: Helicopter
Los Angeles is notorious for its horrible traffic jams and hours of waiting and waiting. Kobe Bryant figured out a great way to get around it: a helicopter. It was in a different chopper, but after his flight into his retirement game, he decided to get himself his own chopper. Kobe Bryant is an icon of L.A., and he knows how to make an icon's entrance. We can't really say who among Shaq or Kobe has the better garage; their garages are just different. Their cars/vehicles are a reflection of the kind of people they are and their personalities. They're both Laker legends. Shaq is already a Hall of Famer, and Kobe will definitely be right behind him when he's eligible in 2021.
Sources: thedrive.com; motorauthority.com