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

by January 23, 2012

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.)