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Shaq plays down spat with Kobe, calls death threat “Ebonics”

Nov 17, 2011, 4:45 PM EDT

Image (1) Shaq and Kobe-thumb-275x260-13925.jpg for post 2602

Thanks to the NBA lockout and the dearth of new news, let’s talk about the Shaquille O’Neal vs. Kobe Bryant feud that is almost a decade old again….

A few weeks back we told you about the parts of Shaq’s new book where he gave his account of his fights with Kobe and, how after Phil Jackson asked them to stop pissing on each other in the media and Kobe then did an interview with Jim Gray, Shaq threatened to kill him.

But, you know, that’s just a figure of speech.

That’s basically what Shaq told Stephen A. Smith on ESPN radio (via Eye on Basketball).

“That [threat] happened back then,” O’Neal said. “It’s well-documented. It’s like an Ebonics statement. I’ve wanted to kill you many times, Stephen A. But we’re still cool….

“Leadership styles vary when you’re dealing with tasks or relationships,” O’Neal said. “I was more task-oriented. With me being the leader of the team, me being the CEO, everything had to go my way. Sometimes when you focus on the tasks, the relationship dwindles. It was all a respect thing. The task was completed. We won three out of four, we were the most dominant, most controversial duo ever created. That’s all that matters.”

While one could suggest that Shaq was trying to settle some old scores and smack Kobe for how everything went down, Shaq said that was not the case.

“I’m a businessman, I don’t take anything personal,” O’Neal claimed. “A lot of the stuff was you [media] guys trying to get in. He’d say something to one guy and he’d write it. I’d say something to another guy, they’d write it. At times it was fun for me. You have to understand one thing about me, I always knew what I was doing. Everything I do has always been calculated.”


There is something about teams that fight off the field or court and still win on it we find fascinating as a sports culture. Billy Martin’s Oakland A’s… or his Yankees, or pretty much anywhere he went. Now it’s Shaq and Kobe. There have been others, there will be more, but it’s interesting that we are drawn to it.

As for Kobe and Shaq: Not to go all Dave Mason on you but there ain’t no good guy, there ain’t no bad guy…

  1. jonka - Nov 17, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    does anyone really care?

  2. moussi11 - Nov 17, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    I do care…oh wait NOTTTTTT

  3. nathanbetz91 - Nov 17, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    Lol so funny you can tell someone you want to kill them just as long as you say were cool afterwards, but Im failing to see the correlation between death threats and Ebonics.

  4. southernpatriots - Nov 17, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    This is what has to reported since there is no NBA ball at this time? ugh.

  5. cmack21 - Nov 17, 2011 at 11:53 PM


  6. pastortodd78 - Nov 18, 2011 at 12:49 AM

    Shaq & Kobe were the most dominant duo ever? What?!?!? Hey big fella ever heard of Jordan & Pippen? 6 in 8 trumps your three and they never lost in the finals.

    • amazonfan0007 - Nov 18, 2011 at 5:08 PM

      I think he means big man/small man. He often refers to them as the greatest big man/small man duo of all time, so I presume that this time is no different.

  7. nazraq - Nov 18, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    pastor, while I agree jordan & pippen were more dominant lets face it, that was more like 1.5 & .5 jordan and any above average baller would have been the most dominant… pippen being on the 50 greatest was a joke, how was he better than dominique.

    • 00maltliquor - Nov 18, 2011 at 4:30 PM

      nazraq …couldn’t agree more. Shaq and Kobe were the best duo, Jordan and anyone above average would still be the best.

    • amazonfan0007 - Nov 18, 2011 at 5:50 PM

      Pippen was one of the greatest defenders of all time, a terrific playmaker, a good scorer, and was without a doubt one of the 50 greatest of all time. He was certainly better than Wilkins who was really one-dimensional, and didn’t do as well as Pippen when Pippen was without Jordan.

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