Despite a run in the early 2000s, where they went for a Finals three-peat, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal were never friends… which would eventually lead to the duo being split up.
During Kobe’s NBA TV special, “Kobe: The Interview,” the Lakers lifer discussed his relationship with arguably the most dominate player in league history.
“I’m obsessive, and I believe we need to work, night and day, to figure out where we need to go. And, he wanted to do the different way,” Kobe says, regarding his issues with Shaq. “There was constant challenge. It was … I wasn’t gonna back down from him, and neither was he. He felt I should play a certain way, give the ball into him. I said, ‘I’ll give the ball into you if you work. You don’t work, you don’t get the ball.’ He said, ‘Throw me the ball.’ [I said] ‘No, work.’
“I never pulled any punches,” he continued. “What you see is what you get, man. Neither one of us are go gonna smile in your face, and go over here (whisper to another player). We never did that. We’d say it right to each other and be done with it… Now, let’s go out and win.”