Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal are Los Angeles Lakers legends, and the duo will forever be linked together after capturing three NBA championships together. But, as it always goes, all good things must come to an end. Even Tom Morello and Zachary De la Rocha, no matter how great a fit they were together, eventually split up.
If you ask Shaq, though, their relationship was bit more like the The Beatles in how it functioned. Big Diesel will be the featured star in the next episode of Oprah’s Master Class, a series that aims to allow an “unprecedented look” into the minds of figures like Shaq.
The episode is set to fully air on Saturday, Sep. 16, and the preview the OWN network published is a solid start. The brand shared a minute-lone passage of Shaq discussing his relationship with Kobe, and listening to The Big Aristotle philosophize over it is fascinating.
“Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, on the court, had a perfect relationship. Off the court, at times we bumped heads. It happens.
“One of my professors from Barry University, Doctor Kopp, he did his thesis on The Beatles, and I read it, and I never knew that John Lennon and Paul McCartney had problems. I never knew that. They bumped heads all the time, but guess what, they're one of the greatest acts of all-time,” Shaq said.
“Shaq and Kobe had problems, but guess what, we're the most dominant Lakers one-two punch, little guy-big man, ever, in the history of the Lakers, and that goes for Magic and Kareem also. No disrespect, it doesn't get more enigmatic, more eccentric than the relationship Kobe and I had,” he added.
The three-peat is hard to peat, especially considering the individual dominance both men enjoyed while wearing Lakers jerseys. Maybe most interesting, though, was what Shaq said about how the two would send barbs at one another.
They both would work the media to get the angle they wanted out to the masses, according to O’Neal.
“The crazy thing about it is we would only go back at each other through the media. That's what a lot of people don't realize. Kobe's guy was Jim Gray... my guy was Jim Hill... it was always like little shots. 'Ah Shaq's not rebounding," ‘Well I'm not gonna rebound if you're taking all the shots.’ But in practice, we never had a problem,” Shaq concludes.
Conclusion? Points on that last tidbit have to go to Shaq. Hill might be the ultimate mouthpiece to have up your sleeve in Los Angeles.