by Russ Bengtson
“When I played with Kobe, me, him, Brian Shaw, J.R. Rider, we had freestyle sessions all the time. … all in fun and we said crazier stuff than that.”

That was by far my favorite line in the wire story breakdown of the latest installment of Real World: Shaq vs. Kobe. Forget Shaq and Kobe—J.R. Rider, freestyle rapper? I wish I could have eavesdropped on some of those ciphers.

But almost right after I heard Shaq’s clumsy attempt at being a lyrical assassinator (pun somewhat intended), I thought: “How would Kobe come back at him?” Mind you, I don’t think he will. Not that Kobe’s always the most rational dude, but I think he knows that, in this case, the best response is none at all. In the words of Jeru the Damaja: “With all that Big Willie talk, hop, you’re, playin yaself

But still, WHAT IF? And an idea started to take form. I would do Kobe’s job for him. I would put myself in his shoes, come back at Shaq as if I were 24. And finally, at long last, I would get to rhyme “Reebok Shaqnosis” and “coronary thrombosis.”

Keep in mind, THIS IS 100 PERCENT PURE FICTION AND NOT MEANT TO REFLECT MY PERSONAL VIEWS ON SHAQ. This is just my interpretation of how Kobe COULD go hard after the Diesel if he really wanted to. And if he could, you know, freestyle. According to Shaq he could, but based on what I’ve heard, I’m not sure whether he’s the best judge of hip-hop talent.

Anyway, drop an old school beat:

Your reign on the top was short like leprechauns
Sure-thing rings lost to Wallaces and Olajuwons

You’re a true, what? You’re a true blue pr*ck
On the outside you’re happy, on the inside you’re sick
Oh, my bad, I forgot, that’s just part of your schtick

Admit it, you just mad ‘cause your career’s almost over
You’re a black hole while I’m still supernova

And while we’re on the topic of being a star
I’ll be in Phoenix in February—can I borrow your car?
Since I’ll be in the game, I won’t drive it too far

I remember when you had the Reebok Shaqnosis
Now you’re working on a coronary thrombosis
I live in the gym, you’ve got a body by Hostess

Nike makes me shoes and spots, I jump cars for fun
Tell you what, I’d rather hang with
Jackass than be one

You claim to be a player, but I f*cked your wife
Yeah, that’s just jokes, but—haha—I f*cked your life

Wanna go after me for your problems, nah, that’s all on you
And those big alimony checks—those are all on you too
Watch Shaunie stack those chips while you get blue

And what’s this I hear about how you went after Kareem?
You’ll never be like him, he was part of a team
Forget about Cap, were you even better than Dream?

Please explain the MDE with one MVP?
That’s like calling yourself a forest when you’re only one tree
Russ had five, Wilt had four, even Moses had three

As for the rings, yeah, you wound up with four
But the Most Dominant Ever should really have more
You weren’t the most feared to ever step on the floor

Those three titles we won, yeah, I couldn’t have done it without you
At least I can admit it, how ‘bout you, Shaq-Fu?

It’s always all about you—the big center of attention
But you ain’t notorious, never had that dimension
Coulda stayed in L.A. but you had to have that extension

You can score in the paint, can’t get it done at the line
Say “I hit ‘em when it matters” and everything’s fine?
Those ugly-ass bricks don’t take from your shine?

Nah, I guess not, but while it may not hurt your fame
It’s something to consider when you’re benched at the end of the game

And now new guys are coming through to rip that S off your arm
Bad enough you lost your game, now you even lost your charm

What ever happened to you, when did you get so bitter?
Used to be a champion, now you’re a quitter
Could have done more in Miami if you only got fitter

If you couldn’t take the fire, should have stayed out the Heat
You’re so out of shape you can barely THINK on your feet

And they even took your badges, that I’m sorry to hear
Because at least then you might have had another career

Call yourself a cop? You’re nothin’ but a pig
And rhyme all you want, you can never be Big

I’m a Laker for life, you’re just another man on a journey
In fact, don’t ever speak to me, just call my attorney
Keep playing with fire, you ain’t gonna burn me

You think you can spit? Like those six Grammies mattered?
You never were sh*t, but I’m glad you were flattered

You never really could rhyme, got carried by many
Kind of like how it worked with Dwyane, Kobe and Penny

People only rhymed on your records because they knew you had money
You think they laughed at your jokes ‘cause they thought you were funny?
Always thought you was Vito when you’re really a Sonny

As for your movies, they laughed WITH you, as far as you know
But maybe you should go back to school, like Neon Boudeaux

And hey, my coach came back, unlike Mike D’Antoni
He chose the KNICKS over you, you big f*cking phony
You think you a horse, but you barely a pony

I’ll be in Beijing this summer, going for gold
You could be too, if you weren’t so old

Face it, you mad, that’s why you came at me first
If I show you my trophy, will it slake your MVP thirst?

I got to stay home, you got displaced.
As years go by, your memories erased.
What was that, Diesel? How does your ass taste?
Shouldn’t you know? You’re the one sh*tfaced.