One could be forgiven for thinking that they were accidentally transported back to 2003 over the last 24 hours, because it looked like former Lakers stars Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal might be feuding once again.
It all started innocently enough, with Bryant joking that he would have had “12 f---ing rings” if Shaq had gotten his “lazy ass” in shape. Bryant clearly made the remarks in jest, but given that text removes most of that context, it was perhaps unsurprising that O’Neal seemed to initially take offense when he commented on Bryant’s quotes on Instagram:
Shaq has some thoughts on Kobe's comments. pic.twitter.com/vZhPiz7H2c— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 28, 2019
But it seems that Shaq was just giving Kobe some friendly ribbing back, something Kobe cleared up on Twitter the next morning:
(Editor’s Note: “MDE” stands for “most dominant ever” in Bryant lexicon, something he has previously called Shaq)
Well, maybe they’re too old to beef with each other, but it would seem that doesn’t necessarily extend to other feuds. Because if there is one thing the two Hall of Famers can agree on, it’s that they don’t like former and now-current Laker Dwight Howard.
Bryant and Howard of course memorably feuded both as teammates and afterwards, while O’Neal’s distaste for Howard dates back to the latter using the same “Superman” nickname O’Neal used while with the Magic.
On Wednesday, Bryant and O’Neal’s mutual dislike of Howard helped them unite in a way almost no other person has ever been able to get them to:
It’s all good bro, when I saw the interview, I thought you were talking about Dwite, is that how u spell his name lol— SHAQ (@SHAQ) August 28, 2019
Would you look at that: Howard is already changing his reputation as someone who divides locker rooms just like he said he would, as he is clearly bringing these two former Lakers together. Now all he has to do is manage the same peacemaker effect in the current Lakers locker room and his signing may yet work out just fine for the organization. Even if it’s pretty clear that Bryant and O’Neal don’t think very highly of the move, or Howard himself.