This horse is dead, but we’re going to give it one more swift kick.
Turns out, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal don’t really like each other. Who knew? And if you think all the bitterness from those days is gone, you weren’t listening to Italian radio yesterday.
Neither were we, but someone with Sportando was. Kobe is out on a Nike-fueled tour of Italy right now and in a radio interview he was asked what was his issue with Shaq:
“I like players who work out. I used to do that 6-7 hours per day. I cannot stand players who practice for 30 minutes. I need to say something to them”.
We knew that. Kobe has always had the crazy work ethic and Shaq balanced his work and play, leaning more toward the later. Phil Jackson stepped into that and made it hard on Kobe because he had to — that was Shaq’s locker room, Shaq’s team. Side with Kobe and Phil loses Shaq, side with Shaq and Kobe is more motivated. Phil is smart all the way around the block. He knew what to do.
Kobe, however, was not all that forgiving of Shaq. Stunning.
So far, the only substantive accounts of the Matt Barnes-Derek Fisher altercation have come from anonymous sources.
The Knicks coach has deflected questions.
But Barnes is giving his account, at least of the lead-up.
Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
It’s completely understandable that Barnes would act to ensure his children’s welfare.
And let’s say everything he said is true. It still leaves important questions unanswered.
Did Barnes – as he reportedly texted a friend he did – beat up Fisher and spit on his estranged wife, Gloria Govan? If so, why did Barnes deem that necessary to protect kids?
Gregg Popovich said he wouldn’t coach in July.
Apparently, he’s taking off part of October, too.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
It’s not that surprising to see Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw staying home. Veterans miss preseason games all the time just to rest. With the Spurs, it happens even in the regular season.
But it’s still a little strange to see the head coach sit out, even though Popovich also did it last year.
It makes sense, though. Who cares about this preseason game? If travelling less helps the 66-year-old Popovich stay fresh in the years ahead, that’s well worth it. Plus, it gets Messina a little extra experience. Some day, he might be the head coach.