Two of the best NBA players, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, played together on the Los Angeles Lakers during the early 2000s. But when you get two powerhouses together, there’s bound to be tension. And that’s exactly what happened. A feud broke out between the players. Although they’re mostly over it now, occasionally, it rears its ugly head again.
That’s exactly what happened recently when Bryant said some salty words about O’Neal, only to backtrack and claim it was a joke. Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal fought over Lakers success Kobe Bryant and Shaq | AFP\/AFP\/Getty Images Bryant and O’Neal both wanted the Lakers to succeed, but they had different ideas about how to do that.
When Bryant first joined the team, his confidence was interpreted as arrogance by O’Neal, and their big personalities often clashed. After playing together for eight years, from 1996 to 2004, the arguments had reached feud level. O’Neal has since admitted that he may have kept the feud up just for attention.
During a sit-down conversation between the two players, O’Neal said, “…a lot of times that our beef was going on, you know me, I’m the master of marketing. About 60 percent of the time, I was just saying to keep it going.” View this post on Instagram Dam I was so lazy. A post shared by DR.
SHAQUILLE O'NEAL Ed.D. (@shaq) on Aug 29, 2019 at 8:44pm PDT That 2018 conversation was actually a turning point in their relationship. They were able to patch up their old grievances and call an end to the feud. “I was an a** to this guy,” O’Neal told Bryant. “I’m going to give you an apology, but we’re not going to be doing all that crying like Magic and Isiah,” O’Neal said, referencing the similar feud between Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas.
Kobe Bryant’s joke caused a social media war Shaq to Kobe pic.twitter.com\/LYNIpjL5Xo— NBA RETWEET (@RTNBA) August 28, 2019 The old feud was reignited recently when Bryant told Patrick Bet-David at the PHP Agency Convention in Las Vegas that he would have more championship rings if O’Neal wasn’t so lazy.
“I wish he was in the gym!” Bryant said. “I would’ve had 12 f**king rings!” O’Neal then responded on social media, which caused a flare-up between the groups of fans. “U woulda had twelve if you passed the ball more especially in the finals against the pistons #Facts… You don’t get statues by not working hard,” O’Neal wrote.
Fans from both sides rushed in to defend their favorite player. And some sat back with popcorn to watch the war unfold. But although it brought lots of attention from both social media users and the media, Bryant now claims his comments were made tongue-in-cheek, and not to be taken seriously. Kobe Bryant cleared the air on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ After the firestorm, Bryant stopped.