Kobe Bryant on Shaq: ‘It used to drive me crazy that he was so lazy’

Robert-Horry-Phil-Jackson-Started-Shaq-Kobe-FeudShaquille O’Neal relied more on natural talent than hard work throughout his Hall of Fame NBA career. When you’re 7-foot-1 and 325 pounds, the game tends to come to you. Kobe Bryant, on the other hand, is a perfectionist. It’s no secret that the difference in work ethic between Shaq and Kobe contributed to the demise of their relationship.

During a recent interview with Ben McGrath of the New Yorker, Bryant reiterated that he did not approve of the level of effort — or lack thereof — that Shaq put forth on a daily basis.

“It used to drive me crazy that he was so lazy,” Kobe said, via Serena Winters of Lakers Nation. “You got to have the responsibility of working every single day. You can’t skate through s—.”

Shaq and Kobe seemed to skate through three straight championships from 2000-2002, but Shaq injured his toe after that third Lakers title. Rather than having surgery right after the season, he waited until training camp so he could have the procedure done on company time.

As Phil Jackson reminded us a few weeks ago, that injury had a lot to do with Kobe giving up on Shaq. Bryant wanted to win four championships in a row and couldn’t understand the lack of urgency from his teammate. Jackson also said that Shaq played the “clown role” on the team while Kobe was one of the hardest workers he has ever seen.

Kobe desperately wants to win a sixth championship and tie Michael Jordan. If he doesn’t get there, he’ll always feel that Shaq was partially to blame.

H/T Lakers Nation

Shaq being investigated for allegedly attacking TNT co-worker

Shaq-Wrestlemania-28Shaquille O’Neal is reportedly under investigation by Atlanta police for allegedly assaulting a co-worker. According to a police report obtained by WSB-TV’s Ryan Young, Shaq has been accused of tackling fellow Turner Studios employee Robert Williams at work last year and injuring his back.

O’Neal has not been charged with anything. Sources told Young Williams suffered serious injuries.

“(The co-worker) alleged Shaquille O’Neal tackled him to the ground causing injury to his back while they were at work at Turner Studios,” Atlanta Police Department Sgt. Greg Lyon said. “I don’t know the extent of his injury, but I have heard that as well, that his injuries were severe to his back.”

Shaq’s attorney Dennis Roach said the incident was simply a matter of friendly “horseplay” and that no one intended for anyone else to get injured. Williams’ attorney said Robert is currently recovering from surgery and denied that the injury resulted from horseplay.

“He does state emphatically, that the permanent injuries he received were not the result of participation in any form of ‘horseplay,'” he said in a statement.

If there’s one thing we know about Shaq, it’s that he loves to mess around. Look no further than the comments Phil Jackson made about him recently for evidence of that. We don’t know what happened to Williams, but it’s hard to imagine the 7-foot-1 Shaq attacked him in a violent manner. We’ll just have to wait to see what the investigation reveals.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Phil Jackson: Shaq played ‘clown role,’ which led to rift with Kobe Bryant

Robert-Horry-Phil-Jackson-Started-Shaq-Kobe-FeudThe relationship between Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal deteriorated quickly after the Los Angeles Lakers won three-straight championships at the turn of the century. There are a variety of reasons that happened, and it’s always a bonus when we get to hear Phil Jackson’s take on the subject.

While speaking at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston on Friday, Jackson said that Shaq’s work ethic and lack of commitment ultimately led to the downfall between him and Kobe.

“Shaq didn’t work at it,” Jackson said. “It was too easy. He was too big and it was too easy for him. He had his clown role that he had to play. That’s a wonderful role for him.

“I think the wedge between (Shaq and Kobe) was when Shaq opted not to get an operation until right before the season when he could have had it right after the season. That resulted in not allowing us to win four (championships) in a row in Kobe’s mind.”

The surgery Jackson was referring to happened in 2002, when Shaq waited until just before training camp to have surgery on his injured toe. His explanation was that he got hurt on company time so he would rather heal on company time. Jackson said that Kobe was more like Michael Jordan with the way he worked, so he clashed with Shaq.

“Michael Jordan was a tremendous player who overcame a lot of deficiencies in his game,” Jackson said. “He couldn’t play defense. He couldn’t hit an outside shot. All of those things disappeared with his work ethic. Kobe saw that as a pinnacle that he had to reach and went beyond that, actually.”

Some people believe Jackson is the one who started the rift between Shaq and Kobe, though the things the two stars have said publicly make that seem unlikely. Have you seen Shaq’s Buick commercials and his analysis on TNT? We all know he loves to mess around. I’m sure that got old for Kobe, who was chasing MJ’s legacy.

Video via CBS Los Angeles

Shaq totally wipes out, falls trying to run on TNT (Video)

Shaq totally wiped out and fell to the ground hard while trying to run during halftime of the Oklahoma City Thunder-Los Angeles Clippers game on Thursday night.

The TNT crew has been mocking Kenny Smith for the bow-legged way the former point guard runs, and they have been preparing for a challenge race. Several crew members decided to get some running in at halftime, and the Big Fella totally slipped on the slick floor:

Shaq falls

Even Ernie Johnson had jokes about Shaq’s fall:

[Read more...]

Tracy McGrady: I would not have clashed with Shaq like Kobe Bryant did

Tracy-McGrady-Upset-Lack-of-MinutesTracy McGrady was one of the most elite scorers in the NBA during his relatively short-lived prime. He averaged 26.1 points per game over an eight-year span with the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets, but injuries sent his career downhill in a hurry. Despite that, T-Mac recently hinted that he believes he was as good as Kobe Bryant during his best years.

“Numbers don’t lie. I was in the conversation of being one of the best in the league,” McGrady told FOX Sports Radio’s Jay Mohr Sports on Wednesday. “Whether I was better than Kobe, or he was better than me … I was in the conversation and it didn’t matter at the time. I was playing at a high level and was very confident when I was on the court.”

If T-Mac feels that his game was comparable to Kobe’s, that must mean he believed he could have won multiple championships with Shaquille O’Neal as well.

“We would have had a great run,” he said when asked about Shaq. “I don’t know how many but, I know it would have never ended like it did with he and Kobe. I have a great relationship with Shaq. We would have never clashed heads like that. Two Alpha dogs going at there will always be (something going on).”

That’s easy to say when the two never actually played together. If Kobe and Shaq were never teammates, there’s no telling whether the two would have had a great relationship like the one McGrady says he has with the big man. They didn’t just start out hating each other from day one.

We’ll never know how good McGrady could have been if he stayed healthy. When asked if he believes he is a future Hall of Famer, T-Mac said he doesn’t know but to “look at my numbers.” If you ask me, he simply didn’t do it long enough.

Little kid rips Shaq for disrespecting Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets (Video)

Little-Rockets-fan-rips-ShaqHouston Rockets fans have quickly forgotten the rough season Dwight Howard had with the Los Angeles Lakers last year. They are looking forward to the future with their new franchise cornerstone, and rightfully so. If you want to know how the city feels about its new addition, look no further than the fiery little fan you see in the video above from ABC 13.

Like many others, Shaquille O’Neal was critical of Howard for leaving LA. Shaq said that he expected Dwight to leave and that some guys can’t handle the bright lights, calling Houston a “safe little town.” The little dude at the 1:05 mark apparently heard every word Shaq said about his favorite team, and he didn’t like it one bit.

“Dwight Howard is the best center in the league,” he said while beating his chest. “Shaq, I wanna say one thing to you, don’t ever disrespect Houston like that again! Don’t ever disrespect Houston. H-town, baby!”

Game, set, match. Shaq shouldn’t even try firing back, because this kid has more swagger than any Rockets fan I’ve ever seen.

H/T The Big Lead

Shaq rips Dwight Howard and Houston in same diss

Dwight Howard ShaqThe more things change, the more they stay the same. Dwight Howard may no longer be with the Los Angeles Lakers, but Shaq still loves to rip on him.

Speaking at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Shaq leveled Howard with some criticism for leaving the Lakers to sign with the Houston Rockets.

“It was expected,” Shaq said. “We’ve all been in L.A., and not a whole lot of people can handle being under the bright lights. Everybody wants to do it, but when you get there, there are certain pressures. I think it was a safe move for him to go to a little town like Houston. That’s right, little town. I said it.”

Phil Jackson similarly commented on Howard leaving, saying the move “left a distaste in Lakerland.”

While the disses are funny, it’s just piling on in a weak way. Houston was a much better fit for Howard. The Lakers are Kobe’s team and he refuses to give that up. The Lakers will be worse off for keeping Bryant as the center of the team rather than building around Howard, who is younger and better than the aging Kobe, who is coming off an Achilles injury. Why would Dwight want to deal with Kobe’s crap the next three seasons instead of going to a better team that will appreciate him more?

Recall that Shaq has had a beef with Howard for years. It started when Shaq got pissed at Dwight for stealing the “Superman” nickname. Then they exchanged barbs over who was flopping when they played each other. Shaq continued to put Dwight down, saying he faces no competition. He even laughably said last season that Brook Lopez was better than Dwight. Shaq has too much hate for Howard for his comments about the center to be taken seriously.