Kobe Bryant chose to make an appearance on Shaquille O’Neal’s podcast, and the duo discussed the feud that eventually led to the break-up of one of the most amazing teams in NBA history.
Despite winning three consecutive championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant’s team was marred by intense internal turmoil. Bryant and O’Neal’s constant and quite public feuding from 1996 to 2004 eventually led to their separation. Although O’Neal and Bryant managed to succeed wherever they played, it was commonly acknowledged that, as teammates, the duo was exceptional, and both men and the Lakers could have achieved much more had they remained on the same team.
Although both men had buried the hatchet a long time ago, Bryant appeared on O’Neal’s podcast, The Big Podcast With Shaq, and the duo candidly discussed their strained relationship and the regret they both have felt.
The podcast will be broadcast on Monday, but ESPN Radio played a few excerpts from the conversation, and it was quite apparent that O’Neal and Bryant both deeply regretted the way their time as Lakers teammates ended. Speaking the unsavory incidents, that was lapped up by the tabloids, Bryant said,
“Here’s the thing though, when you say it at the time you actually mean it and then when you get older you have more perspective and you’re like ‘Holy s—t, I was an idiot when I was a kid’. To me, the most important thing was really ‘just keep your mouth shut’. You don’t need to go to the press with stuff. You keep it internal and we have our arguments and our disagreements, but I think having our debates within the press was something I wish would’ve been avoided, but it did kind of create this whirlwind around us as a team with myself and Shaq and the press and the media that just put so much pressure on us as an organization.”
Interestingly, Shaquille O’Neal also reminisced about what might have been if the duo hadn’t separated, reported MSN. It was undoubtedly the case of swollen egos blown out of proportions, implied O’Neal:
“A lot of stuff was said out of the heat of the moment. I guarantee I don’t remember a lot of stuff that they said, because I changed my thought process of, you know what, we won three out of four, what the hell are you all talking about, this is not really even a story.”
Feuding is quite common among teammates, but holding onto the grudge can have quite a detrimental effect. By accepting that the feud was out of hand, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal have proven that time heals everything, but it doesn’t remedy the past.
[Image Credit | David Sherman / Getty Images]