In an old clip, NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal gives his no holds barred response to Stephen A. Smith when asked about what caused his friction with Kobe Bryant.
Arguably one of the greatest duos of all time, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant played 8-seasons together, finding stupendous success. In what many believed, the two legends didn’t achieve their ideal ceiling despite 6-Finals appearances and a 3-peat.
Though a perfect match on the hardwood, the two superstars weren’t always on the best terms. Two strongly opinionated individuals, Shaq and Kobe, did have their fair share of ups and downs during their dynastic run with the Lakers. However, things became ugly post the 2004 Finals loss to the Pistons.
According to reports, Kobe instigated Shaq’s ouster from LA as he felt the Diesel had lost the competitive drive to win more. On the other hand, the seven-foot center took multiple digs at the Black Mamba for his solo nature of playing. While this was a sad time for their fans, the media had a gala time.
In a past interview with Stephen A. Smith, Shaq addressed his reported feud with Kobe in the boldest fashion.
“You don’t have to like me, but most people do”: Shaquille O’Neal spills the beans on his rift with Kobe Bryant.
The coming together of great talents has an expiry date in most cases, and the case of Shaq-Kobe was no different. The Hall of Fame duo had their share of success but eventually fell apart, with the media dishing out new stories every day.
In an interview with Stephen A. Smith, when asked what stemmed the beginning of his friction with Kobe, the Diesel had the following response.
“I don’t know, and I don’t care,” said the three-time Finals MVP. “Most of the people if you ask them about me, they really like me. So if you don’t like me, might be something wrong with you.”
When asked if he add anything to say in response to Shaq’s above comments, Kobe said the following.
“Not really, I just wish him all the best.”
Fortunately for their fans, the two superstars did resolve their issues as time passed, with Kobe even playing mentor to Shaq’s eldest son Shareef O’Neal. The Diesel’s heartfelt tribute during Kobe’s memorial had everyone teary-eyed, highlighting their wonderful relationship.