Shaquille O’ Neal and the late NBA star Kobe Bryant shared an infamous beef. They both donned the Los Angeles Lakers jersey together for eight years. It was a partnership that resulted in three titles out of four trips to the NBA Finals.
During the Los Angeles Lakers’ Shaq-Kobe era, the media followed almost every beat of the two perennial All-Stars’ on-and off-the-court relationship. Sometimes, Shaq and Kobe dropped hints on their beef when quizzed by reporters, but the all-out verbal war apparently often happened behind the camera.
Kobe Bryant remarked on Shaquille O’ Neal
According to Sports Illustrated’s Howard Beck, Jim Gray had an interview with Bryant where he allegedly insulted Shaq over pretty much everything with foul words. Indeed, it was quite a story. However, as reputable a sportscaster Gray was, Beck said they “never heard Kobe say it” and had never seen the piece.
“Kobe famously, I think it was in their final season, had that statement that he issued through Jim Gray – which was always very strange because we never heard Kobe say it, and it wasn’t on camera or anything. Gray had a statement from Kobe that was three or four paragraphs long, and it was an unmitigated slaughter calling out Shaq on everything. It was like he saved this up for years,” Beck told HoopsHype.
“It was about Shaq delaying his toe surgery and burning part of the season to recover from it. Shaq not being in shape. Kobe considered himself much more committed to the game. Kobe lived and breathed it and was obsessive about it. Shaq wasn’t.”