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Monday, January 23rd, 2012 at 1:58 pm  |  31 responses

Robert Horry: Phil Jackson Made Kobe/Shaq Feud Worse on Purpose


In an interview with the Russian website Sports.Ru, Robert Horry says that former Lakers coach Phil Jackson purposely pitted Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant against one another, making their blood feud even worse than it already was. Zen Master stuff. You wouldn’t understand: “Was it possible to avoid the Kobe and Shaq split? ‘I think Phil Jackson started that feud. It happened many times that after team practice he would say, ‘Kobe said this about Shaq, and Shaq said that about Kobe… We couldn’t believe how could that happen, because just the day before we saw them together, jumping on one another. Phil liked it when there was conflict of some sort. I always tell people; if you look at those championships, you’ll see who were the closest players on the team. Normally those are the guys who are the first to hug each other. And when we were winning, it was always Shaq and Kobe who hugged. I think this will answer your question. Later it was blown out of proportion by the media and both players started doing something that didn’t make sense […] Who is the best player that you ever played with? ‘I would say Hakeem Olajuwon and Kobe Bryant. The things The Dream could do on the floor were phenomenal for a big man. And the dedication that I saw in Kobe, I didn’t see in anywhere else. And I think that he’s not given enough credit for this: he has spent a lot of time and energy to become what he is now. I don’t want to offend anybody, but those two stay above everybody else.’”

(Props to Rush’n Hoops for the translation.)

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  • OTB

    As Lazenby said, this isn’t true. I remember Roland mentioning the tension between them in his book from 1998, “The NBA Education of Kobe Bryant”. It obviously didn’t blow up til PJ arrived, but it was brewing.

  • OTB

    The players, like Eddie Jones, for example, would make fun of Kobe behind his back, and you better believe Shaq was in on those jokes.

  • DieselMechanic

    Horry is leaving Tim Duncan, and Shaquille off his list of best he’s played with. Pretty good list.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Horry had the privilege of playing with 3 of the most dominant big men the league has ever seen. ALL IN THEIR PRIMES!Was arguing with my brother about Horry being HOF the other day. I say there’s no way. The guy’s never even had to be the 2nd best player on his team. Some can argue that he hasn’t ever had to be the 3rd option on any of those squads. No all-stars appearances, no all-defensive teams, and he never put up HOF numbers. Or maybe I’m just butt-hurt cuz he knocked off my Magic, Knicks, Kings, and Pistons squads . . .

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    Interesting thoughts. I’m sure there’s many different opinions as to how the whole Kobe/Shaq feud started and what kept it going and what Phil’s part in it was. Howevah, it won’t take long before dudes here tear him up for leaving Shaq and TD off HIS opinion on who he thought was his best teammate(s). We all didn’t play with Horry on any of those teams so why do we think his opinion should match ours. I’m just saying.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    Horry is kinda like Steve Kerr in the sense that he seemed to always be on the right team, at the right time.. Horry was a solid player, and obviously hit some “big” shots, but not H.O.F. material, in my opinion.

  • OTB

    Best teammate doesn’t necessarily have to refer to the biggest talent. I’m sure he thinks TD and Shaq are “the best” in thier own rights, but Kobe and Hakeem stand out to him because of the reasons he outlined.

  • OTB

    When Horry played with Shaq, he was already a phenom. He was a phenom from his rookie year until his prime. Contrastingly, when Horry arrived on the Lakers, Kobe was a bench player…he went from that to a franchise player for 12+ years, hence why he is so impressed.

  • Bruno

    the question was who is the best player that you ever played with? no best teammate just saying …

  • capostat

    “The things The Dream could do on the floor were phenomenal for a big man”. That should give context to his ranking Hakeem over Shaq at least. …”For a big man.”

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Boss Terry, I completely agree. Hitting clutch shots add to one’s legacy, but I think Horry’s body of work lacks individual accolades. I think he’s one of the greatest role-players of all time, but still just a role-player.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    Crazy to think, this guy has 7 rings !!

  • http://www.yahoo.com The Fury

    He’s not HOF material, just call him Mr. Clutch.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    “Big Shot Bob” is a pretty cool nickname

  • Dungeon Family

    It was all by design…….Think about it Phil Got both of them to play to their Full Potential

    Example 2001 Playoffs

    Shaq
    295 total mins
    214 total Points
    30.6 scoring average

    Kobe
    292 total mins
    215 total points
    30.7 scoring average

    He knew what he was doing

  • Ldub

    cosign Nick tha Quick. Its Horrys opinion. Certain Teammates may bring different things to the table. Some of those may be outside of basketball.

  • Pais

    Sorry Horry, but your opinion is not going to very popular. A lot of people simply won’t accept this, forget the fact that you are 1000 times more qualified than anyone commenting on this site. People made up their minds about Kobe long ago and his numbers, age, injuries, great field goal percentage, your opinion, MJ’s opinion, none of that is gonna change a thing. Hilarious how people immediately twist your pretty straight forward quote, rather than accept another vote in favor of Kobe. Or lets talk about whether or not you deserve to be a hall of famer, which even you probably think is silly. You Kobe haters are pathetic with the extent you’ll go to.

  • robb

    well said Robert. Hakeem is the best center of all time.

  • Dungeon Family

    @paris…………Cosign that statement

  • charliewinning

    Some of y’all take your fanboy-ism a lil too serious.

  • http://www.cnbc.com/ JTaylor21

    I would take Rose/Deng over Shaq/Kobe anyday. The bulls came up a lil short last year but their about to three-peat. Boris Diaw for MVP

  • http://Slamonline.com Rocksinmypants

    Looks like someone’s trolling as Jtaylor. As much as he hates Kobe I don’t think he’d say that.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    I’m no Kobe hater. Just bringing up a debate I had. Why so angry?

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    Robert Horry just won a bunch of rings. While he was a great role player, there are so many more deserving people who should get into the hall of fame before him.

  • floe

    taylor you must be on crack.

  • drew

    what i’ve always said but the majority will disagree…in the last 20 yrs outside of jordan, the best players in the L have been dream and kobe.. shaq and duncan just slightly behind but all on the same tier imo.

  • Justin G.

    There is no way JTaylor means that. He must be drunk or just trying to get a rise out of people because not even the most ardent of Bulls fans would say something like that. Maybe Horry should just have his number retired. I mean, if they can do it for Bruce Bowen…

  • http://fklfs.com Jukai

    Justin G: The thing is, Bruce Bowen was on one championship team. Robert Horry was on three. Which ones retire his number?

  • jimmer

    The Kobe comment is aimed squarely at Shaq; he had all the talent but no heart, just a big fat man happy to throw his weight around and call it greatness, whilst Kobe worked his a** off, day in, day out, to be as dominant as he is. As far as Hakeem, Duncan is essentially the slower model; less hops and slower footwork, but basically the same stuff in slow motion, hence why when the Dream did it, it looked beautiful, and when Duncan did it, he looked like a Robot (right now he looks like a robot with lead boots). If I was allowed to pick two of those four guys for a run at the title, i’d pick Hakeem and Kobe. Shaq and TD only had each other to play against in their prime, and Hakeem played in the golden era of big men, and dominated them all. Cue pointless discussion about ’95 finals and the ‘prime’ shaq dominating a totally barren and decrepid pivot position between 2000-02

  • 130623

    If Robert horry is hof’er then surely d fish is too! Both have done the same things, I.e hit big shots contributed to championships but neither could be a number 1,2 or maybe even third option, hope people see my point and I’m not hatin on horry or fish

  • Kadavour

    Hakeem was a better talent than both Shaq and Duncan. We’ve seen him SCHOOL Shaq, and the highlights of how he demolished Duncan’s mentor has also been well chronicled. Wish we could have witnessed a Dream vs Duncan matchup.

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