Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports news from Wednesday, highlighted by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal burying the hatchet after Bryant’s recent comments about O’Neal’s work ethic sparked a mini-feud.
We’ll also take a look at Serena Williams rallying to win her second-round U.S. Open match after dropping the opening set to a 17-year-old American.
All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this Thursday!
Kobe Bryant Says He Has ‘Nothin But Love’ For Shaquille O’Neal After Work Ethic Comments Caused Drama
Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal don’t have any “beef” after all.
Bryant’s comments about O’Neal’s work ethic initially led to O’Neal firing back on social media, but Bryant clarified on Wednesday that there is “nothin but love” between the two former Los Angeles Lakers teammates.
A quote from an appearance that Bryant made at the PHP Agency convention in Las Vegas at the end of July came to light this week and began the brief rift between the two legends.
When asked who O’Neal would have been if he had Bryant’s work ethic, Bryant said “He’d be the greatest of all time, for sure. He’d be the first to tell you that. This guy was a force like I have never seen. It was crazy. A guy at that size, generally guys at that size are a little timid and they don’t want to be tall, they don’t want to be big.
“Man, this dude was, he did not care. He was mean. He was nasty. He was competitive. He was vindictive. He was … yeah, I wish he was in the gym. I would have had f—ing 12 rings.”
Seeing that Bryant was basically saying that he would have won more titles if O’Neal had put in more work, O’Neal fired back on Instagram, commenting on the @lakers24ever post, “U woulda had twelve if you passed the ball more especially in the finals against the pistons #facts.” He’d go on to add that, “You don’t get statues by not working hard.”
Bryant would respond on Wednesday, burying the hatchet and clarifying his comments, saying that the two are too old for drama. O’Neal replied back saying that it was all good and threw in a joke about the Lakers’ newly acquired big man, Dwight Howard.
Bryant and O’Neal played together in Los Angeles from 1996 to 2004, winning three straight NBA titles from 2000 to 2002. Following O’Neal’s departure from Los Angeles, Bryant would go on to win two more championships with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010, while O’Neal won one with the Miami Heat in 2006.
Serena Williams Rallies From Dropping Opening Set to Beat 17-Year-Old American Caty McNally
Serena Williams mounted a comeback on Wednesday night after dropping the opening set to 17-year-old American Caty McNally, beating her in three sets, 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.
McNally accomplished something that no player had ever done in 19 attempts – take a set from Williams in a second-round match at the U.S. Open.
Williams turned it on after that, squaring the match at one set apiece and then dominating the third set, where she’d win every point on her serve and 24 of 29 points overall.
With the win, the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion advances to the third round where she will play the winner of Karolina Muchova and Su-Wei Hsieh on Friday.
Serena’s sister, Venus, didn’t fare as well on Wednesday, falling to the No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina from Ukraine 6-4, 6-4.
On the men’s side, Roger Federer had to rally from losing the first set to 99th-ranked Damir Dzumhur, winning the match in four sets, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4.
No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic overcame a shoulder injury to defeat Juan Ignacio Londero 6-4, 7-6 (3), 6-1.
Thursday’s action will feature the 15-year-old American sensation Coco Gauff, as she takes the court in primetime (7 p.m. ET, ESPN 2) to face Hungary’s Timea Babos.
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Headlines
WHAT’S ON TAP IN THE SPORTS WORLDTENNIS: U.S. Open Second Round
Second round action at the U.S. Open continues today from Flushing, N.Y., highlighted by 15-year-old American Coco Gauff’s match with Hungary’s Timea Babos at Louis Armstrong Stadium scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. Rafael Nadal and the defending women’s champion Naomi Osaka will also be on the court on Tuesday.
WHEN: Today, Noon-6 p.m. ET (ESPN); 6-11 p.m. ET (ESPN 2)
NFL: Preseason Week 4
The final night of the NFL preseason will feature all 32 teams in action in their final tune-ups for the regular season kick-off. The NFL Network will feature a doubleheader tonight with the Steelers taking on the Panthers at 7 p.m. ET followed by the Chargers facing the 49ers at 10 p.m. ET.
Missed Yesterday’s Roundup? Click here for it.