Time heals all wounds. This proverbially saying is especially true in the rather bizarre relationship between Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and his former teammate Shaquille O’Neal.
The animosity between the two was well documented when they played together and won championships for the Lakers about a decade ago. Even after Shaq left to play for the Miami Heat, they still took shots at each other.
But, in a story via the Los Angeles Times, following his jersey retirement ceremony, the former Lakers center revealed that their feud was never all that serious.
“There’s two different types of dislike: there’s an athletic dislike and a real dislike. We never had a real dislike,” O’Neal said of Kobe Bryant. “Every time I see his lovely wife and his beautiful children, I always go to his children and say, ‘Hello babies, I’m uncle Shaq.”
“We haven’t played since 2004 — nine, 10 years later — and you’re still talking about the so-called beef we had? … I know you all have brothers and sisters, I know you all have disagreements and arguments, but you still love them,” O’Neal said. “He’s my teammate, he’s my brother. I’m proud to call him both.”
Shaq says he’s tired of discussing their past issues and would rather talk about what they achieved while they played alongside one another.
“I actually get tired of talking about it,” O’Neal said. “I wish you guys would just say that we were the most dominant one-two punch ever created. That’s what I would like to read because that’s what I know we were.”
What Shaq is basically saying here is that the beef between him and Bryant was never personal but more a battle between the two massive egos of a couple of future Hall of Fame players. It’s too bad they allowed that animosity to get the better of them because they were a devastating duo.