Three-Ring Circus: Kobe, Shaq, Phil, and the Crazy Years of the Lakers Dynasty

Three-Ring Circus: Kobe, Shaq, Phil, and the Crazy Years of the Lakers Dynasty by Jeff Pearlman is an in-depth look into the 1996-2004 Los Angeles Lakers, an era filled with multiple championships and even more drama.

Three-Ring Circus: Kobe, Shaq, Phil, and the Crazy Years of the Lakers Dynasty by Jeff Pearlman
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Throughout the entire existence of current game, there have never been two significant level partners who hated each other at the level in which Shaquille O’Neal despised Kobe Bryant, and Kobe Bryant hated Shaquille O’Neal.

From public sniping and fighting, to actual squabbles and the rehashed dangers of exchange, it was fighting. But then, regardless of eight years of infighting and antagonism, by turns interceded and supported by mentor Phil Jackson, the Shaq-Kobe pair brought about perhaps the best line in NBA history.

Together, the two drove the Lakers to three straight titles and returned magnificence and energy to Los Angeles.

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About the 1996-2004 Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers were the kings of the 1980s, but saw themselves take a backseat throughout the 90s. It wasn’t until the Lakers added Shaquille O’Neal that everything would change. They also drafted Kobe Bryant around this time and everyone assumed this team would instantly start winning championships. That didn’t happen right away though and it wasn’t until they added the third piece of the puzzle in Phil Jackson that they were able to make it to the promised land.

However, more Lakers success lead to more trouble with this team. As Kobe grew into a great player, his relationship with Shaq grew contentious and this team was never without drama.

  • NBA Champions (2000, 2001, 2002)
  • Western Conference Champions (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004)
  • NBA record 15-1 in 2001 Playoffs
  • NBA Most Valuable Player – Shaquille O’Neal (2000)

About the Author

Jeff Pearlman is the New York Times best-selling author of eight books, including Football for a Buck, The Bad Guys Won!, Boys Will Be Boys, Showtime, Sweetness, and Gunslinger. He lives in Southern California with his wife, Catherine, and children, Casey and Emmett. He is the host of the Two Writers Slinging Yang podcast and blogs regularly at

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Other Books You May Like

Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success by Phil Jackson: The legendary coach’s book digs deep into his Lakers championship wins as well as his time with the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan.

The Mamba Mentality: How I Play by Kobe Bryant: There is no one quite like Kobe. His book on basketball is an interesting read for how he saw the game.

Inside the NBA Bubble: A Championship Season under Quarantine by Jared Dudley: From one Lakers dynasty to another. Dudley looks back at the Lakers most recent championship win in the NBA’s quarantine bubble.

Three-Ring Circus Podcasts

The Ryen Russillo Podcast – Kobe, Shaq, and Phil: The Lakers Dynasty With Jeff Pearlman and Bill Simmons: Ryen is joined by NYT-bestselling author Jeff Pearlman and Bill Simmons to discuss Jeff’s new book Three-Ring Circus: Kobe, Shaq, Phil, and the Crazy Years of the Lakers Dynasty.

Locked on Lakers – Talking “Three-Ring Circus” with Jeff Pearlma‪n‬: Author Jeff Pearlman hops on the show to talk about his new book, “Three-Ring Circus,” which documents the three-peat era. It’s an incredible book and this was a great conversation about it.

Two Writers Slinging Yan‪g‬: Jeff Pearlman’s weekly in-depth, no-holds-barred conversation with a writer on writing.