There’s no mystery that people know about the competitive nature between the two former star players of the Los Angeles Lakers from 1996 to 2004. Whether it’s been rumors, actual facts, or betting done between people, everyone knows there was a certain animosity between them (both on and off the court). One of the key complaints of Shaq back then and now is Kobe didn’t pass the ball enough. This is still a discussion that goes on to this day. Raja Bell recently stated the Lakers’ remedy for Bryant’s ballhog ways.
When Bell played with Shaq in Phoenix, the same issue occurred with their teammate, Gordan Giricek. Shaq came up with a solution. The Suns would rally a signal by clenching two fists and and tapping their thumbs on top of each fist. This would mean to not pass it to Giricek. Bell found out that Shaq and the Lakers came up with this type of plan for his days while playing alongside Kobe. Of course, there are still some things to be said outside of them playing sports.
Recently, Kobe has said some things about Shaq. He has addressed these comments and explained that they were meant to be a compliment towards Shaq.
Kobe thought that Shaq took objection to his comments in an interview last month when Kobe discussed his former teammate’s work ethic. Kobe went on to say he could’ve had 12 rings if Shaq matched his work ethic. “Me and Shaq sit down all the time and I say “if your lazy a – was in shape.” This brought a bit of controversy to the point where he had to clarify things on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” “It was really a compliment,” Kobe said.
He went on to say that people only took half of what he said and ran with it. “People missed the whole first half of that in which I said he was the most dominant player I’ve ever seen and I felt like he could’ve been the greatest of all time.”
“So, people kind of missed that part of it — they caught on to the lazy part. But, that was like, I kinda said that tongue-in-cheek. We weren’t going to win 12 rings, nor were we going to play our entire careers together, you know what I mean? But it’s all good, man, I love that dude.” The original comments from Kobe got a response from Shaq on the Lakers24ever Instagram page: 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.” In a witty remark, Shaq posted up an old photo of when he played for the Lakers with a caption saying, “Dam I was so lazy.”
To clear the air, Kobe simply responded by saying there are no issues with him and his former teammate. Despite the so-called beef between 1996-2004, they won 3 straight championships from 2000-2002 before Shaq was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004. There Shaq went on to win another NBA title with Dwyane Wade in 2006. The Lakers have certainly put their stamp as one of the big dynasty teams in basketball history.
When it comes to dynamic duos, Kobe and Shaq had a grip on the game like no other. And they certainly have the rings to back up their playing. Who knows what could’ve happened if Shaq stayed a few more years? While a lot of people tend think that Kobe and Shaq have issues, Kobe went onto say it’s a media thing. He tweeted, “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.”
Whether or not they do things together in the future or continue going down their own paths, you cannot deny the type of energy they brought not only to LA but the basketball world as well. These are some rare occurrences that don’t happen very often. It’ll be forever etched in history through footage and the fans that were able to experience those moments in time. Regardless of the banter, they still were able to get 3 consecutive rings together. Most NBA players just dream of getting that one championship title. Going forward, it’ll be great to see what other things both Kobe and Shaq can accomplish in their latter years.