Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal are Now Friends

by February 13, 2013

After fighting and feuding with each other en route to three NBA championships, and continuing to throw darts long after they were no longer teammates, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal seem to have at last buried the hatchet. Shaq was sitting courtside for the Suns/Lakers game last night, and could be seen talking and joking around with Bryant prior to tip off. Following the win, Kobe talked about their much-improved relationship. Per the LA Daily News: “‘Shaq and I have a really, really good relationship now,’ Bryant said. ‘It’s good. I think it’s a good lesson for all of us.’ And what is that lesson? ‘I think we appreciate each other more now than ever,’ Bryant said. ‘I think the further you get away from the history that you had together, the more you put perspective on it on how dominant we were.’ No one disputed that. Bryant and O’Neal teamed up for three NBA championships from 2000 to 2002. They formed one of the NBA’s most formidable duos. Plenty of teams wondered if they could ever stop them. They could, namely because they stopped themselves. […] ‘The challenge for me was to show [O’Neal] and show everybody else that I could win without him,’ Bryant said. ‘And point proven. So, I’m fine either way. I took it as an honor and as a challenge to be a player that could play a supporting role and then move from that and take the leading role and win that way as well. I took a lot of pride of that, but I also took a lot of pride in kind of being a floor general and letting [O’Neal] do his thing.’ […] ‘It’s fun for us to kind of get together again and kind of reminisce on some of the old stories,’ Bryant said. ‘It’s fun. It’s good to see him.'”