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Kobe says he and Shaq were not built to last together

Feb 8, 2012, 1:28 PM EDT

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

It’s the question that haunts Lakers fans — “what if?”

What if Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal could have set aside their absolutely massive egos and stayed together? How many rings? Would they be considered with the Jordan-era Bulls and ‘60s Celtics with the great dynasties of the NBA?

Kobe wants you to know the question is moot.

They were not built to last, he said on ESPN radio’s Colin Cowherd show, as transcribed at

“There’s no way we would have lasted (15 years). Absolutely not,” Bryant told Colin Cowherd during a Tuesday appearance on “The Herd” on ESPN Radio.

Bryant also recalled the moment when he truly realized the two could co-exist for only so long.

“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,” recalled Bryant. “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.'”

Retired and now reflective, Shaq looks back on the Laker years with Kobe as the greatest of his career. Not sure Kobe will ever see it that way. He doesn’t forgive grudges easily.

  1. dannomac21 - Feb 8, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    “Not sure Kobe will ever see it that way. He doesn’t forgive grudges easily.”

    He also has one more ring than Shaq, so he does have the right to think that way. Not that I think it wouldn’t be asinine if he thought he was on a better team than the early 2000 Lakers, but still.

    • threevok - Feb 8, 2012 at 3:19 PM

      “Not sure Kobe will ever see it that way. He doesn’t forgive grudges easily.”

      Apparently, neither does his wife.

  2. keyshawn22 - Feb 8, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Of course they weren’t built to last. Shaq was about winning and Kobe was about shooting. For those of you who think in wrong i urge to watch the 2004 finals vs the pistons and u tell me who shot the lakers out of that title.

    Kobe was never going to accept being the second best player on his team and as long as shaq was there that’s all he ever was going to be was 2nd best.


    • skids003 - Feb 8, 2012 at 3:22 PM

      Agree, two of the biggest egos of alltime.

    • 6thsense79 - Feb 9, 2012 at 2:58 AM


      I believe by the time Shaq got traded to the Heat he was on a downward slope of his career while Kobe was smack in the middle of his prime. So it is just not believable to say that as long as Shaq was on the Lakers Bryant would always be 2nd best. It would have been the same scenario as when Shaq join the Heat and was clearly the 2nd option behind Dwyane Wade.

      In fact if O’neal would have accepted that it was time to turn over the wheels to the younger Bryant at that point in his career like he accepted in Miami that era of the Lakers would have been much different. But alas there was too much negative history between the two. Also as much as I liked Shaq just about every team he left he left on bad terms…..Orlando, LA, and Miami….he always had something negative to say about the other Superstar he played with when he left.

  3. AlohaMrHand - Feb 8, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Shaquille ate his way out of LA.He comes into camp out of shape and overweight and then demands a new contract?Buss and Kupcheck got tired of the act and sent him away.Shaq ended up a glorified journeyman while Kobe won 2 more titles.

  4. r0llinginthedeep - Feb 8, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    In other news:

    Water is wet, sky is blue, etc.

  5. jayrandle - Feb 8, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Has Roland Martin seen this picture of Shaq and Kobe?

  6. nolanwiffle - Feb 8, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    I can empathize with Kobe. It is tough to play along side another great player. Just ask:


    Please shut your mouth, check your ego at the locker room door, and just play. Just one more reason, in a list of hundreds, that today’s NBA is a farce.

  7. t16rich - Feb 8, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Alot of young couples break apart

  8. 00maltliquor - Feb 8, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    I miss those uni’s.

    I wish those two could’ve played nice. Could’ve gotten another 5 more together.

  9. alimoe87 - Feb 8, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    who gives a damn about your relationship with shaq just play BASKETBALL!!

  10. redstar504 - Feb 8, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Every time I read junk like this it makes me angry.

    They could have had so much together. There could have been so many memories maybe not championships because there is no guarantee they would have won more. It’s the memories the big playoff pushes that never were classic tussles with the Spurs that never were.

    As a basketball fan it makes me angry we lost out on all of that because they couldn’t put their egos aside and play for the team.

    As a human-being I can see it. They each had that need to be number one and the releationship was asking more of Kobe than Shaq. Shaq was at the pinnacle maybe on the downslope of his career where as Kobe was on the rise. Asking Kobe to put off his rise wasn’t going to happen and asking Shaq to step out the spotlight too early wasn’t going to happen.

    The stupid thing is if they just stayed the course Kobe’s natural rise and natural Shaq’s fall would have sorted the thing out

  11. klownboy - Feb 8, 2012 at 9:59 PM

  12. glink123 - Feb 8, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    Kobe wins multi-championships without Shaq. Shaq wins zero ‘ships without DWade or Kobe. Period.

  13. loungefly74 - Feb 9, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    i get sad thinking about the possibilities with shaq and kobe…this one hurts just as much as if only Led Zeppelin could just get together full time with jason bonham, cut some new tunes and tour the USA…but it will never happen.

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