Shaq’s New Tell All Book Says Kobe, Assault Case Blew Apart Lakers
Deadspin reports that in a new Shaquille O’Neal tell all book slated to come out Nov. 15 titled: Shaq Uncut: My Story, the four-time NBA champion reveals some details surrounding the feud he had with Los Angeles Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant.
In an excerpt shared by Deadspin, it was apparent that Shaq still has some strong words for Bryant regarding the split:
“So I’m on edge because I don’t have a new deal, and Kobe is on edge because he might be going to jail, so we’re taking it out on each other. Just before the start of the ’03-’04 season the coach staff called us in and said, “No more public sparring or you’ll get fined.” … Phil was tired of it. Karl Malone and Gary Payton were sick of it. … So what happens? Immediately after that Kobe runs right out to Jim Gray and does this interview where he lets me have it. He said I was fat and out of shape. He said I was milking my toe injury for more time off, and the injury wasn’t even that serious. (Yeah, right. It only ended my damn career.) He said I was “lobbying for a contract extension when we have two Hall of Famers playing pretty much for free.”
I’m sitting there watching this interview and I’m gonna explode. Hours earlier we had just promised our coach we’d stop. It was a truce broken. I let the guys know, “I’m going to kill him.”
Together Bryant and O’Neal helped the Lakers win three consecutive NBA titles from 1999-2002. The rift between the two forced Los Angeles to choose between the two superstars and the Lakers sent the 32-year-old to the Miami Heat before the 2004-05 season.