Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal’s feud was well-documented, but the former Los Angeles Lakers teammates seemed to have reconciled their differences prior to his death. The two legendary Lakers were part of a documentary that aired on TNT where the duo discussed their volatile relationship. Bryant admitted to being frustrated over O’Neal’s fluctuating conditioning over his career, and both players talked about a fight that occurred during one of their practices.
“You kept saying ‘Yeah, take that little b—-,” Bryant noted, per Clutch Points. “Take that little b—-. I’m looking around, ‘Oh, he’s f—— talking to me.’ Right? I said ‘Well hold on, ain’t going to be too many more of those ‘little b—-.’ And what’d you say? ‘Well whatchu gonna do about it? Whatchu gonna do about it?’ The next thing I knew I saw a big hand coming this way, and I remember going this way [opposite direction]. And I remember throwing some lollipop s—. Olden Polynice came…and then they just kinda broke us apart.”
O’Neal recently noted on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon that they would have been able to defeat the new Lakers duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
“Yes. Hell yes. Of course [we’d win],” O’Neal said, per Sports Illustrated. “Cause there’s only one contributing factor. Who’s gonna guard me?”
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After Kobe’s Death, Shaq Tweeted That He Was ‘Sick Right Now’
Shortly after Bryant’s death, O’Neal took to Twitter to share a heartfelt message. O’Neal admitted to being “sick” after learning of his friend’s passing.
“There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW,” O’Neal said on Twitter.
Kobe Tweeted There Was ‘No Beef’ With Shaq
After Bryant and O’Neal publicly reconciled, an interview with the former Lakers guard sparked more controversy. Bryant squashed the idea that there was once again a feud by taking to Twitter.
“There is no beef with @SHAQ I know most media want to see it but it ain’t gonna happen. Ain’t nothin but love there and we too old to beef anyway #3peat,” Bryant tweeted on August 28, 2019.
The controversy was sparked after Bryant discussed O’Neal’s work ethic during an interview at the PHP Agency Convention in Las Vegas, per Fox Sports.
“He’d be the greatest of all time, for sure,” Bryant noted, per Fox Sports. “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 (expletive) 12 rings.”
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reported that he was on the phone with O’Neal shortly after his death and the former Lakers center was crying during their conversation.
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