Robert Horry: Phil Jackson Started the Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O’Neal Feud (Audio)
The feud we are all so familiar with that involves Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal has done a tremendous job of withstanding the test of time. Just when you think the two might finally be over it, a new freestyle rap video or some other type of information always pops up. At this point, it is played out. However, Robert Horry did offer an interesting take on the subject during a recent visit to Russia for a student league All-Star game.
“I think Phil Jackson started that rift,” Horry said in an interview with Russian website Sports.ru that was translated to English. “Because there was a lot of times when as a team we would come to practice and after practice there’s coach, ‘Hey, Kobe said this about Shaq, Shaq said this about Kobe.’ And we were looking, like, ‘How can this be? We were just in the locker room yesterday, laughing and joking with each other. You know, them two laughing and joking with each other.’ Phil always liked to have controversy.
“I tell people all the time, if you go back and you watch the championships, you can always tell who was close on a team, because they are the first ones that hug each other. And Shaq and Kobe were always the first ones to hug each other if we won a championship. So that can solve your rift problem right there. I think it was all media hype for them two to just start some crap.”
The interview was conducted in English and then translated to Russian before being transcribed back to English. For that reason, much of the interview could have been taken out of context. However, Rush’n Hoops did some nice investigative work and got a hold of the corresponding audio clip for the quotes above to assure everyone that they are accurate. Here is the audio from that segment of the interview:
If Jackon was indeed responsible for starting the feud, he did a tremendous job. Based on the recent comments Kobe made about Shaq’s practice habits and Shaq’s response to those comments, it’s safe to say the two still haven’t gotten over it more than eight years later.
But why would the Zen Master want there to be controversy? Did he think it would make both Kobe and Shaq play better? If Horry is right and Jackson did turn the two against each other, three championship trophies say it just may have been crazy enough to work.
H/T Game On!