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Shaq's defection to Los Angeles turned the league on its ear and restored the Lakers to glory. Credit goes to Los Angeles GM Jerry West, who cleared up cap space by shipping Vlade Divac to Charlotte (for an 18-year-old rookie named Kobe Bryant) as well as sending Anthony Peeler and George Lynch to Vancouver so he could clear cap space. Excited by the acting and music opportunities in Los Angeles, Shaq put his signature on a seven-year, $121 million deal. Three championships (and four rap albums) later, West looks like a genius.

Photo: Peter Read Miller, John W. McDonough/SI

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