Shaq fires back at Kobe Bryant over latest work ethic criticism
Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal seem to have smoothed things over a bit since their falling out with the Los Angeles Lakers, but that has not stopped them from pointing the finger at one another.
In an interview with Patrick Bet-David at the PHP Agency Convention in Las Vegas this week, Bryant said he believes he could have won a dozen championships if Shaq worked harder when the two were with the Lakers. You can see the remarks at the beginning of the video below:
Kobe also paid Shaq a backhanded compliment by saying he would have been the greatest player of all time if he spent more time in the gym. When Bet-David said he did not want to start more drama between the two former teammates, Kobe said he has told Shaq to his face many times.
“He’d be the greatest of all time. He’d be the first to tell you that,” Bryant said. “Me and Shaq sit down all the time and I say, ‘Dude if your lazy a– was in shape…”
Even if Kobe has said it to Shaq’s face, the big man doesn’t seem to appreciate it. When Shaq caught wind of Kobe’s latest criticism of his work ethic, he took to Instagram to say Bryant would have more championships if he “passed the ball more especially in the Finals against the Pistons.” He also reminded Kobe that the Lakers created a statue in his honor.
Shaq responds to Kobe pic.twitter.com/cC2Tn1Et59
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) August 28, 2019
Of course, this feud has been ongoing for many years. Kobe spoke when he was still playing about how it infuriated him that Shaq was so lazy, and Phil Jackson has even indicated he agrees with Bryant. Winning 12 rings wasn’t going to happen, but Shaq did injure his toe after the Lakers won their third consecutive title and chose to wait until training camp to have surgery rather than doing it after the season ended. You have to wonder if things would have gone a bit differently if he wasn’t so adamant about having the procedure on company time.
The Kobe-Shaq pairing is one of the most intriguing in NBA history, and these are the reasons why. Even to this day, they clearly don’t see eye to eye.