Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 at 10:30 am  |  78 responses

Kobe on Shaq: ‘No Way We Would Have Lasted 15 Years’

It’s been nearly a decade since Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal were teammates, but the story of their dominant run together (and acrimonious breakup) continues to garner headlines. Kobe says that their relationship was doomed from the start. From ESPN: “Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and former teammate Shaquille O’Neal won three consecutive championships during their eight seasons together, despite regularly feuding in public fashion. To some, it was regrettable that personality clashes may have prevented an even longer run as a dominant 1-2 punch. But as far as Bryant is concerned, that was never in the cards from Day 1. ‘There’s no way we would have lasted (15 years). Absolutely not,’ Bryant said. Bryant also recalled the moment when he truly realized the two could co-exist for only so long. ‘There was an interview that I heard Shaq do which he kind of threw down the challenge of me not being able to win without him,’ recalled Bryant. ‘After I read that, I said, ‘Aw, that’s it.’ Some comparison that he made with me and Penny Hardaway, and once I read that, I said, ‘You know what? I can’t finish my career with people saying that. There’s no way.’ O’Neal said Tuesday playing with Bryant made up ‘the best eight years of my life,’ contrary to their often fiery relationship as teammates. O’Neal described it as ‘marketing.’ ‘You know we pushed each other,’ O’Neal said. ‘A lot of people thought we really had problems, but the problems I created were just for everyone to look at us, to notice us.’ O’Neal said the media often took it further.”

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  • c.a.

    Kobe couldn’t last 15 years with his wife, a person he CHOSE to be with, so he sure as hell ain’t gonna last with some dude he is forced to ball with!

  • slamfan4life

    K k k kobe doin work

  • hulahula

    still theyre my favorite duo….

  • http://yahoo.com LakerNation

    2-4 on my shirt!

  • kobesBESTfriend

    Shaq f’d up what should have been the most dominant dynasty ever!!!

  • Kobester

    just another case of Shaq being immature and Kobe being petty….

  • Paul H

    Like Kobe said, two alpha males on one team doesn’t work long term. Particularly when both are capable of the most outlandish immaturity and stubbornness.

  • http://Www.dimemag.com Royal


  • T-Money

    wow, shaq is really starting to sound like a mark. history has been written, kobe shattered your records, won more chips than you and will not bounce from teams to teams scoring less than 10 points a game… and he also has no interest in faking a friendship. deal with it.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OhGZNLPSOY&feature=related Allenp

    Shaq is going all out on his quest to rewrite history and his legacy. Now it was all the media’s fault and shrewd marketing move. That dude lies like he breathes.

  • MeloMan15

    I love Shaq, but he needs to stop pretending that his beef with Kobe was for show. It was pretty obvious they didn’t like eachother

  • hagekg

    when Slamonline makes a poll about how the lakers will finish the 11-12 season not so long ago and the majority of ppl voted that they are gonna win a championship, it simply shows how many slam followers are majority with lakers side. this fact alone already makes me lazy enough to argue with kobetard fans, let alone seeing them argue who is more dominant between kobe or shaq when shaq is the one who left in the end. Or lazy enough to argue that their hero isnt as great as what they think of.

  • http://www.twitter.com_dfrance dfrance21

    Yeah Shaq needs to STFU. If I hear his whole “I was driven by the task and sometimes the relationship suffers to get the task accomplished” garbage again I’m gonna puke. Kobe can be a douche, but at least he’s always been honest about where their relationship stood.

  • robb

    Paul McCartney and John Lennon clashed every 5 seconds, and they succeeded enormously. Sometimes those fights create a special energy that helps bands/teams become legendary.

  • Ldub

    Not a Laker fan to say the least, but I do recognize the awesome team of KB and Shaq. It would have been really great for the NBA if these 2 could have found a way to coexist. Since they werent able to, we are left with woulda, coulda and shoulda. 2 Hall of Famers, 2 all time greats, all-stars, mvps, multiple champions. ‘Nuff said.

  • HeavenCent

    hagekg >> maybe your wrong and you need to wake up

  • Red Star

    Kobe! You’re Welcome!!

  • Angie

    “Paul McCartney and John Lennon clashed every 5 seconds, and they succeeded enormously. Sometimes those fights create a special energy that helps bands/teams become legendary.”

    That’s actually a pretty good example. They had tremendous chemistry…and tremendous chemistry problems. When it worked, it was magic. When it didn’t, it was a disaster. But at the end of day, it fell apart, never to be put back together again.

  • Kinetik

    like humpty dumpty.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    I understand Kobe isn’t the easiest guy to like, but choosing between him and Shaq is pretty much a no brainer. Shaq annoys me more and more each time I hear his name.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    Shaq once said Allen Iverson was in the Top 5 all-time.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCbDnPDBff4 Caboose

    But Paul hasn’t ever tried to rewrite history and say that he was using the feud’s as a marketing ploy while John really believed in them. Why is Shaq so insecure about how people view him? He really is just starving for positive attention, which explains why he signed with Cleveland (piggyback on LeBron’s positive popularity) and Boston (piggyback on the Celtic Pride popularity). Your moment in the sun is over Shaq. We know who you are. Don’t try lying to us. It ironically makes you the smaller person.

  • bike

    Phil Jackson’s ‘The Last Season’ was a pretty good read and he wasn’t shy about voicing his views on the whole Shaq/Kobe feud. A lot of it boiled down to Kobe was arrogant and wouldn’t listen to anyone whereas Shaq was immature but likeable. Jackson defiantly preferred Shaq over Kobe.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Shaq’s opinion has no credibility.

  • http://nba.com GP23


  • http://www.huwlhopkins.com #6marjon

    i think he’s good for TNT but shaq is quickly ruining his reputation and his ignorance is becoming highlighted now he’s not playing basketball.

  • Heals

    Totally honest, totally truthful…

  • charliewinning

    This is the first time Kobe has said something I totally respect. Props to him for his honesty.

  • Dungeon Family

    These two will forever be intertwined In NBA history

  • http://nyill.wordpress.com Enigmatic

    Back when Shaq was still playing and everyone loved him and his quotes I was saying dude sounded like an idiot.
    Good to see most agree with me now.
    Seriously tho, the things this dude says… I mean, really?

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Yeah that’s definitely the truth

  • retrobat

    I’ve found that I don’t really like him on TNT. He seems like he’s trying too hard and I don’t think he is objective enough to be an analyst.

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    ^^ he is not a good fit on TNT at all. when chuck makes you look stupid you gotta go… only his occasionally funny comments save him from being like a complete failure as a character.

  • B-Mac

    Kobe had a huge losing season in 04-05… Nuff said

  • http://www.twitter.com_dfrance dfrance21

    He absolutely sucks on Inside. He tries to sound like he’s providing insight into the game and he really adds nothing. They should have made CWebb full time and let Shaq have an NBA TV show.

  • Dungeon Family

    Prime example of Just how dominant they BOTH were together

    Look at the graph at 0:54

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com albie1kenobi

    Shaqin’ a fool needs to be cancelled. it’s worthless.

  • bike

    Kobe, over time, has matured although he retains a certain level of arrogance and stubbornness.
    Shaq, on the other hand, seems to still be stuck in 5th grade. It’s probably the result of being so much bigger than everyone else his whole life and no one daring to smack him out of it.

  • Heals

    Totally agree with ya’ll who think he’s been excess on TNT (and I’m a Shaq fan for the most part). From day one I’ve felt the chemistry isn’t as good as just the trio. Kenny, Chuck and EG, plus the occasional Magic or other guests was perfect. Shaq is great (to me), but he doesn’t add alot right now. His POV’s need more substance. But he’s a rook so here’s to a better soph year on Inside…

  • Hugo

    shaq really isnt the brightest fish in the pond…and kobe is making sure to say things that discredit what shaq is sayin…lmao

  • MikeC.

    What happened to GP as an analyst? Was there an issue that got him booted?

  • hegotsgame

    hey B-mac, true the Lakers went 34-48 in 04-05 but really, all Kobe’s fault. Shaq & Phil are gone, Fisher opted out and left, Rudy T quit mid-season because of health reasons, Malone retired mid season, GP was traded in a 5 player deal, and Kobe and Lamar had major injuries. Not making excuses but that’s not really nuff said…

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    Kobe was also injured in that 05 season I believe.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Shaq has always been a douche, people back then just excused his poor behavior. Shaq always got on my nerves, because he wasted his career, because he never trained hard, like getting surgery on company time and was worried about more how he looked in media, than his game. How can the most suppose dominate player to some dumbies have one MVP and now suck up to Kobe all the time. Kobe was the player of the decade and MJ stated he can be compared against him. So I take Kobe career. BOOK IT!!

  • Bill

    It’s been proven Kobe can’t do anything without an All-Star center’s coattails to ride. Jordan had Bill Wennington and Luc Longley.

  • Justin G.

    ^^^Yes but he also had Scottie Pippen who was top 50 all time. @AllenP…he didn’t say it was all the media but there’s no denying the media would embellish things. It’s what they do. This site might be one of the most glaring examples of it

  • JP7

    Afro Kobe, buff Shaq, Nick Van Exel, Eddie Jones, NBA Courtside for N64, those were fun times, they wouldn’t have been able to get past the Spurs without Glen Rice tho, so Shaquille and Kobe need to pay homage to the big homie.

  • http://Www.casbaentertainment.com NSChi23

    Truth be told if Shaq stayed in Orlando and that team stayed healthy the Shaq/Penny tandem could have won 2 titles or maybe 3. I would love to see how history would have played out that way. How many titles would Kobe have if he never played with Shaq? 1?2?3?4?

  • Tim

    Jordan had Horace Grant at PF and Cartwright at C too, don`t underestimat that fantastic duo.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/GametimeWeezy Gametime

    Without Shaq? Zero.. he would of bolted long ago. Maybe joined Iverson in hometown Philly.

  • stelly90

    kobe and mj are the best players of all time, face it. watch kobe nash and dwight swipe through every team 2012-2013

  • Chast

    Shag was the problem. he was jealous of Kobe and afraid the Laker was beginning to be Kobe team. Just like he could not get along with Penny Hardaway, because the magic was viewed as Penny team. Shag has cause problems where ever he went. In Miami He wanted to fight with Pat Riley because he wanted the ball more. I thing Shag daddy caused all the rip with Kobe. He want Kobe to always pass the ball to Shag to make shag look good. They did not want Kobe to blossom.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.merrihew Bob Merrihew

    Shaq and Kobe may not have gotten along… and Laker fans hate Shaq for leaving, but history has shown, Kobe needed Shaq. Big men always fronted Shaq and left lanes open for Kobe. When Shaq was gone and it was “Kobe’s Team,” they sucked and didn’t make the playoffs. That’s a fact, no hatin’ involved. True, Shaq was on the downside of his career at the end and Kobe was the better player. Shaq was really hard to handle in the post. I hear Hakeem handled him all the time; and that’s not true. Shaq on a roll was impossible to stop on the block, he rebounded like a man possessed, and struck fear in players driving to the hole. I hope Laker fans evolve and realize that the Shaq and Kobe Lakers were truly awesome.
    Last thought, Kobe and MJ had a lot of the same moves and were impossible to stop with one man. However, MJ was a leader that inspired his teammates (and even tamed Rodman enough to get the best out of him). Kobe is not that type of leader. The Gasol and Kobe Lakers were stacked with talent and had the best talent in the league by far. That team should have won 2 more championships than they did. Michael Jordan would have won those championships. Phil Jackson had problems with Kobe and trashed him in his book. Kobe is an outstanding Hall of Fame player with a fine legacy, but take him off the pedestal like he is royalty. EVOLVE!!

  • rainman

    how about the rings he won after Shaq left…………………………….

  • Jerel

    I think Shaq needed Kobe… I mean he won 3 rings with Kobe and those didnt come until Kobe began putting up all star numbers… Shaq never won with Penny and the Heat ring was more or less all Wades. They both needed eachother but without kobe Shaq wouldnt have won anything. Without Sahq Kobe is a 2 time champion. And Kobe isn’t as good of a leader as MJ but he did make Bynum an all star and revided Paus career. Lets remember when shaq left Kobe had Kwame Brown, Luke Walton, and Smush Parker in the starting line up. Not even Jordan could win a ring with them starting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1602832844 Michiboo Meticulous

    Love this u highlighted the bad and the good, the good and the bad. Then warned them “he’s no Royalty”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1602832844 Michiboo Meticulous

    Ok so Shaq speak his mind and he’s being chastised. Kobe speak his mind and he is being celebrated. DOUBLE STANDARD. BIASNESS.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1602832844 Michiboo Meticulous

    Kobe is an arrogant prick. Asked Phill Jackson..though he didnt used the world prick. But he did mentioned arrogant in his book, right? Kobe frigging need Shaq, and Shaq need Kobe, Explain after Shaq left. If Kobe alone cud do it Lamar & Paul wudnt went to Lakers. Explain 2010-2011, 2011-2012.. Kobe was there yet he’s ringless for those seasons. Kobe need All-Star, Super-Stars to win, just like any other player. If he didnt need them, why Nash & D12 to the Lakers? KMDT. Then u quarrelled with HEAT for putting superstars together. LOL..LMAO, yet u hugged up NYK teaming up & u did the same teamed up of superstars/allstars in 2012. SMH. Dont care..trade or not, free agency or not. the FACT is allstars/superstars teamed up.I used to watch Lakers to c Lamar. Now I’ll be watching Clippers. . Peace I’m out

  • Whodi

    You’re discrediting Kobe by a lot and you need to stop it. Shaq needed Kobe, he wouldn’t have won those three championships with any other shooting guard in the league at that time. Reggie couldn’t do as much as Kobe, AI wouldn’t know what to do, Stephen Jackson and Shaq would have completely blown up, he was in heaven with Kobe.

    And MJ would have maybe won in 2008 but not in 2011 and 12 with those same players. You can’t look at the footage, have watched the games, and really think that. They weren’t the most stacked team in the league (the Celtics were in 08 and 2010 and the Spurs were just as talented all three years they really contended) during the years they won, or during the last two. (when the Heat were clearly more talented.) Come back after this year and spout your nonsense.

  • kramcjier

    ahh.. it’s the other way around… just STFU if you don’t know anything, puhlease..
    Shaq has and always will be loved by the Media.. and Kobe is being hated.. so please.. shut the stupid brain of yours, mate.. it will give us both and the world a favor..

  • http://www.facebook.com/shooting.guard.319 Shooting Guard

    Well everybody knows shaq will never grow up, but My man Kobe, i absolutely respect everything about this dude except for one thing: his arrogance, i think even he can’t control it i don’t blame him because at least he’s matured over the years

  • D D

    I agree totally. He is an idiot who seems to like to aurgue with Charles too much.

  • http://twitter.com/anorman14 AJN

    I couldn’t play with a dude that ratted me out. Kobe (mamba) is arguably the best baller of this generation…….but, he’s also a snitch.

  • Bill Kirnes

    Kobe aka The Black Hole, aka Michael Jordan wannabe is the most selfish player in NBA history…period.

  • Peter Maguire

    True – Shaq is an embarrassment on TV and once again wait till Kobe retires and shows how great he is at analyzing games. The two are leagues apart

  • Peter Maguire

    he is still with her idiot

  • Peter Maguire

    same deal for Michael and Phil, only thing is they both made Phil what he is today… Kobe is much more teachable than MJ and has shown many changes to his game throughout his career, what did Michael do – same thing always and his later years we’re just not going to bring into it, that was simply a mistake.

  • Peter Maguire

    Agreed – Kobe made players around him better – when they performed well they won. Now this team is so pathetic he is re-inventing himself into Magic for the sake of the team, Nash should be embarrassed. Shaq could dunk very well, OK rebounder, thats about it

  • Peter Maguire

    Sure of course – it ws a bigger fight with Kobe! He did all the work and gave away a lot to keep Shaq happy.

  • Peter Maguire

    Very underrated and rarely talked about

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    lol. 11 months late with the reply dude

  • Peter Maguire

    does it matter – just like the fools that always jump in to slam Kobe, this is another example of keep your mouth shut about peoples personal lives.

  • TheBigCire

    kobe is a great player but i felt something wrong when you said kobe made players around him better> that sick me alot :>

  • TheBigCire

    grow up dude! mj is the only one!

  • Peter Maguire

    the english language and complete sentences only issue I could see

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    wow am i the only who finds the comparison of a wife to a colleague uncalled for

  • gaaaaaaaaabriel

    didnt see it

  • Steven

    Lol Too this day kobe is too stupid and arrogant to see that he needed Shaq the three time FINALS MVP obviously the best player in. the NBA from 00-03 averaging 30ppg and 15rbs and you don’t want him on your team because of something he said in an interview LMAO!! Pure ignorance!!