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

by February 08, 2012

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.”