Tag: Shaquille O’Neal

Image (1) Shaq and Kobe-thumb-275x260-13925.jpg for post 2602

Kobe says he and Shaq were not built to last together


It’s the question that haunts Lakers fans — “what if?”

What if Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal could have set aside their absolutely massive egos and stayed together? How many rings? Would they be considered with the Jordan-era Bulls and ‘60s Celtics with the great dynasties of the NBA?

Kobe wants you to know the question is moot.

They were not built to last, he said on ESPN radio’s Colin Cowherd show, as transcribed at ESPNLosAngeles.com.

“There’s no way we would have lasted (15 years). Absolutely not,” Bryant told Colin Cowherd during a Tuesday appearance on “The Herd” on ESPN Radio.

Bryant also recalled the moment when he truly realized the two could co-exist for only so long.

“There was an interview that I heard Shaq do which he kind of threw down the challenge of me not being able to win without him,” recalled Bryant. “After I read that, I said, ‘Aw, that’s it.’ Some comparison that he made with me and Penny Hardaway, and once I read that, I said, ‘You know what? I can’t finish my career with people saying that. There’s no way.'”

Retired and now reflective, Shaq looks back on the Laker years with Kobe as the greatest of his career. Not sure Kobe will ever see it that way. He doesn’t forgive grudges easily.

Video: Kobe Bryant passes Shaq on all-time scoring list

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant smiles as he hands the ball back to a referee in Minneapolis

“It was inevitable” was how Kobe Bryant described himself eventually passing Shaquille O’Neal to move into fifth on the all-time NBA scoring list — which he did with a long two pointer in the second quarter against the 76ers Monday night. Kobe had all 24 he needed to move past Shaq in the first half. (Then went cold, but that’s another story.)

While he may play it down, make no mistake Kobe is savoring this — there is still no love lost between him and Shaquille. The feud was real. It was not all Phil Jackson, although Jackson used it to his advantage. Remember when Kobe won ring number five he couldn’t wait to remind everyone that is one more than Shaq? He will privately savor this.

Shaq tweeted this:

Congrats to Kobe for being the greatest laker ever thanks for making us the greatest laker one two punch ever and congrats on passin me up 2

Robert Horry says Shaq vs. Kobe feud was all Phil Jackson

Lakers v Nets

Who was the big culprit in the Kobe Bryant vs. Shaquille O’Neal feud that broke up the Lakers? Was it the Type A personality of Kobe driving the wedge? Did Shaq need to be “the man” so bad that he held back Kobe (Shaq wouldn’t learn to share the spotlight until Miami)?

Robert Horry will choose Door No. 3 — Phil Jackson.

Here is what Horry, a member of those Lakers teams, told Sports.ru out of Russia, as translated to English (via TrueHoop).

I think Phil Jackson started that feud. It happened many times that after team practice he would say, “Kobe said this about Shaq, and Shaq said that about Kobe… We couldn’t believe how could that happen, because just the day before we saw them together, jumping on one another. Phil liked it when there was conflict of some sort.

I always tell people; if you look at those championships, you’ll see who were the closest players on the team. Normally those are the guys who are the first to hug each other. And when we were winning, it was always Shaq and Kobe who hugged. I think this will answer your question. Later it was blown out of proportion by the media and both players started doing something that didn’t make sense.

My take — Jackson fanned the flames but he was not the instigator. As author Roland Lazenby said, this feud was going on before Jackson arrived in Los Angeles. These were (and still are) two massive egos that did not share the team well. Jackson used that to his advantage at times and especially sided with Shaq — that was Shaq’s locker room at the time and Jackson couldn’t lose it. So he’d smack Kobe in public a little for Shaq’s amusement.

This was not all Phil. He played a part, for sure. But he did not start it.

Dwight Howard tells Shaq to “get on with his life”

Dwight Howard Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O’Neal loves to needle Dwight Howard. Why? Mostly because he’s Shaq, but there is that whole silly “Superman” thing (Shaq’s nickname but a persona Howard used to win the dunk contest in 2008).

Now, Shaq’s got a big megaphone on TNT’s Inside the NBA. National broadcast where he can and did say Andrew Bynum is the only true big man in the game.

But Howard has fired back. Check out the video over at NBA.com, but for now here is the money quote from it:

“He’s mad about Superman. I didn’t know he made it up. I didn’t know Superman came from Shaquille O’Neal… He’s still mad about it. I would suggest he just sit down and get on with his life. He don’t play no more so what’s the point of talking trash. It’s not like we’re wrestlers and we can battle it out. Who cares?”

Okay then, it is on. As Stan Van Gundy says later in that same video, Shaq gets paid now to spout his opinions. It’s up to the rest of us to take them with a grain of salt.

Nate Robinson would prefer GMs ignore Shaq’s new book

Guard Nate Robinson of the New York Knic

When you go job hunting, do you look at what you posted — or others posted about you — of Facebook and wince?

Welcome to Nate Robinson’s world.

Robinson is a free agent looking for a job. Complicating matters is Robinson did not come off well in Shaquille O’Neal’s new book.

“Nate was always trying to get noticed by the public. He was always tweeting videos of himself punking his teammates … Some people are a little too focused on Twitter and Nate was one of them. He was too worried about how many followers he had. He kept saying, “Shaq, I need more people. Help me out.”

Shaq is all about marketing, about selling books and himself. Robinson told Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated he needs to remind GMs about that and who is doing the story telling here.

“Everybody on the Celtics knows who created every skit, every prank, that we did — it was all my man Shaq’s idea,” Robinson, who was with Boston from Feb. 2010 to Feb. 2011, told SI.com via phone on Saturday. “We did it together. He wanted to say that, and it’s fine. But when it’s game time and I’m ready to play, then I’m ready to play. That’s something where I have to work to change people’s mind and prove to them that it’s not true.

“It is what it is. One good outlook of it is that I’m going to always be in that book. … Some people say some things that are not always right, and life’s not fair.”

There’s a place for Robinson in the NBA, but likely not on a contending team. He provides energy off the bench and some nights scoring as well. But he is inconsistent, inefficient and not a great defender — the kind of things top teams need on their benches. It’s why he almost never saw court in the playoffs for the Thunder last year.

But if a team needs the energy and a fan favorite, a guy on a hot night who can win them a game here and there, Robinson is their guy.