Kobe Bryant Recalls Playing With Shaq, Says It Would Never Have Lasted

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'NealWhen Kobe Bryant surpassed Shaquille O’Neal on the NBA all-time scoring list to land at #5 during their game against the 76ers on Monday night (February 6), there was a lot of kind words between the once bitter teammates … and now that they’re past it all, the Lakers superstar is talking about their past hardships and accomplishments together.

When they were teammates, they won three consecutive championships together, despite feuding publicly. Somehow, they made it work. However, Kobe admits, in retrospect, that if they were forced to remain teammates back then, it would have never lasted.

“There’s no way we would have lasted (15 years). Absolutely not,” he told ESPN Radio on Tuesday (February 7).

During the interview, Kobe recalled the moment he realized he and Shaq couldn’t co-exist for much longer.

“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,” he recalled. “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.’ ”

Despite their bitter feud, which ended with Shaq being traded to the Miami Heat (where he won a fourth championship in 2006), Bryant said he actually recalls warm memories of their time playing together.

“I absolutely do, because what we achieved was remarkable,” he said, “especially considering that we weren’t a natural pair. We’re just not. We were able to make it work and figured out how to go about doing it and dominate games and things like that, but it wasn’t a natural mix.”

As far as his current Los Angeles Lakers team, he expressed confidence in the vision they all share, despite their slow start to the season of 14-11. While admitted he gets frustrated with their losses, Kobe says they can work through it.

“I’m always frustrated,” Bryant admitted. “I’m frustrated when we lose one game. But I believe we obviously tried to improve our team. They tried to make a move (for now-Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul), and it fell through. I’m sure they’re working on other things as well. I’m not going to get bent out of shape, or hoot and holler, or lose my temper or whatever. I believe we’re all on the same page, we know what we want to do. We know what the goal is.

“We’re going through a little tough patch right now, but we’ll be all right,” he continued.

2 comments
  1. back in the day when kobe lived in philly
    you NEVER seen him with people who looked
    like him or his mother..
    and thats all Im going to say about him..

  2. Y are we always looking for beef? I saw this interview. Shag called Kobe ‘the greatest Laker…ever’ Kobe-> ‘that coming from Shaq is a huge compliment.’. Report all of it…

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