Bryant said it was said largely in jest, and more of a “compliment” to O’Neal’s sheer dominance.
The big fella naturally pushed back once the story went viral, saying his work ethic spoke for itself.
“Here’s the thing, it was really a compliment,” Bryant said. “People missed the whole first half of that in which I said he was the most dominant player I’ve ever seen and I felt like he could’ve been the greatest of all time.
“So, people kind of missed that part of it — they caught onto the lazy part,” the Lakers icon added. “But, that was like, I kinda said that tongue-in-cheek. We weren’t going to win 12 rings.”
Kobe said he actually had to text the Big Diesel after the comments went viral, saying, “No hard feelings, I still got love for you.”