By Nick Bakay
Page 2 columnist

With one shared championship and a horizon that looks like dynasty, Kobe and Shaq have chosen to sip from a timeless Hollywood cocktail: Take two parts talent, sprinkle liberally with success, shake ... then wait for implosion.

The ugliness may not have reached Marcus Camby vs. Danny Ferry proportions, but when it does, don't look for Phil Jax to borrow a page from Jeff Van Gundy's playbook and use his face as a peace offering.

That would be too easy.

No, these two will have to work it out together. But what are we really looking at here -- David vs. Goliath? Ball Hog vs. the Rim Reaper? Cute as a Backstreet Boy vs. Huge as John Popper? Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal: Their union may have less future than a horny couple on "Temptation Island." But let's see how they stack up at the Tale of the Tape.

Shaq vs. Kobe Tale of the Tape
Category Shaq Kobe Advantage
Motto Size matters ... It's my world, and you're living it it...however marginally. Shaquille O'Neal Shaq
Acid test Send him to the charity stripe Force him to walk by a mirror without looking. Push
Choices that make us shake our heads in disbelief His movies His engagement Shaq. Hey, when a movie's over, at least you get to keep your house.
Why they need each other Can't score if Kobe won't feed him the rock. Can't breath if Shaq sits on his chest. Shaq
Big names they've been linked to Aristotle Brandy Shaq -- although Brandy had a better year
Requests Trade me Trade him Push -- even Kazaam wouldn't grant that wish.
You could park Your car in his shoe Montana in his ego Shaq
Phil Jackson's Indian nicknames for them Big Dunking Bear Little Shoots too Much Shaq
How to defense them Hack-a-Shaq Make-him-pass Push
Ironic twists Penny Hardaway Is starting to miss Penny Hardaway Brandy Is starting to miss Brandy  
Named after An Irish shanty The world's most expensive steak Kobe
At their worst Manute Bol Makes Manute Bol look dimensional Dominique Wilkins Makes Dominique Wilkins look like a team player Push
Raised by A drill sergeant A Jellybean Shaq
Too ... Immature to admit Kobe's a star Young to know good things don't last Push
What they think when they see stars courtside at Staples Co-star Prom date Kobe Bryant Kobe

So there you have it. It's so simple when you break things down scientifically. In a sentimental call, the advantage goes to Shaq. But hang in there, Kobe, it's probably the last time anyone will pick against you for a long, long time.

Until next time, I'm Nick Bakay reminding you the numbers never lie.

Humorist Nick Bakay, currently a writer for the CBS sitcom "King of Queens," is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and Page 2. He has a Web site at