Flashback: Kobe Interview With Jim Gray On Shaq

Flashback: Kobe Interview With Jim Gray On Shaq

Postby Kobe8Fan on Wed Jul 21, 2004 9:59 pm

This is an interview from last summer on ESPN Sportscenter.

GRAY: What was your reaction to Shaq saying the Lakers are his team, and everybody knows it?

BRYANT: It doesn't matter whose team it is. Nobody cares. I don't, Karl [Malone] doesn't, Gary [Payton] doesn't, and our teammates and the fans don't either. There's more to life than whose team this is. But this is his team, so it's time for him to act like it. That means no more coming into camp fat and out of shape, when your team is relying on your leadership on and off the court. It also means no more blaming others for our team's failure, or blaming staff members for not overdramatizing your injuries so that you avoid blame for your lack of conditioning. Also, "my team" doesn't mean only when we win; it means carrying the burden of defeat just as gracefully as you carry a championship trophy.


GRAY: Do you consider Shaq to be a leader?

BRYANT: Leaders don't beg for a contract extension and negotiate some 30 million [dollars] plus per year deal in the media when we have two future Hall of Famers playing here pretty much for free. A leader would not demand the ball every time down the floor when you have the three of us [Malone, Payton, Bryant] playing beside you, not to mention the teammates you have gone to war with for years -- and, by the way, then threaten not to play defense and rebound if you don't get the ball every time down the floor.

GRAY: Shaq says that you have not been a team player. Is he right?

BRYANT: That's ridiculous. I have been successfully sacrificing my game for years for Shaq. That's what Phil [Jackson] wanted me to do, so I did it. Last year Phil told me Shaq was not in physical condition to carry the trust of our offense, so he asked me to do it. But then he saw Shaq was getting upset that the team wasn't running through him, so Phil asked me to pull back and I did. This year is no different; my role is whatever Phil wants it to be. Period.

GRAY: Through out the preseason, your leg and conditioning has been lagging. Are you in the proper shape to start the season?

BRYANT: My knee is not strong enough to play yet. I know it. When it is I will play.

GRAY: Does that mean you will miss the opener [Tuesday] night and other games?

BRYANT: I probably won't play tomorrow night or until I'm ready. But I don't need Shaq's advice on how to play hurt. I've played with IVs before, during and after games. I've played with a broken hand, a sprained ankle, a torn shoulder, a fractured tooth, a severed lip, and a knee the size of a softball. I don't miss 15 games because of a toe injury that everybody knows wasn't that serious in the first place.

GRAY: Kobe, Shaq said if you didn't like what he had to say you can opt out and leave next season. Will you leave the Lakers?

BRYANT: I won't make that decision until the end of the season. I told Shaq last year that I was planning on opting out. He knew before anyone. I told him out of respect for what we have been through together. I thought he should be the first to know. The fact that he acts like this is such a big shock is a mystery to me. If leaving the Lakers at the end of the season is what I decide, a major reason for that will be Shaq's childlike selfishness and jealousy.

GRAY: Do you feel Shaq has been supportive in regards to your legal situation?

BRYANT: He is not my quote unquote "big brother." A big brother would have called to lend his support this summer. I heard absolutely nothing from him. I spoke to Devean [George], Rick [Fox], Mitch [Kupchak], Phil, and our owner Jerry Buss. And Shaq's own Uncle Jerome called and left three messages. Other teammates like Derek [Fisher], Mark [Madsen], and [Stanislav Medvedenko] left messages as well. Opponents called like [Chris] Webber, [Mike] Bibby, and many others. So did a lot of coaches. Michael Jordan, who didn't have my home phone, tracked it down to lend his support. So did Tiger Woods. But yet from my so-called big brother, I heard nothing.

GRAY: Why not resolve this behind closed doors? Why is this so public?

BRYANT: I asked Phil on Sunday [yesterday] to say something to calm this situation down before it boiled over. But he backed away, so now here we are. I have been a bigger person every time something happened with Shaq, and I don't expect this to be any different. But somebody in this organization had to speak up, because his unprofessionalism hurt us last year, and I don't want it to hurt us this year.


The dumb media always makes it sound like Kobe is the real selfish one during that feud with him and Shaq. That was the only time Kobe ever talked about Shaq. Everything Kobe said there was true. Look at how Shaq is now.
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Postby kobe6962 on Wed Jul 21, 2004 10:03 pm

yep it just gotten so ugly the two just couldnt co-exist. Its a shame they couldnt get along. But I agree with that interview I did last season. I always have and always will question Shaq's motivation from the last two seasons. He just lost that desire and hunger.
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Re: Flashback: Kobe Interview With Jim Gray On Shaq

Postby Andrew Evenstar on Wed Jul 21, 2004 10:04 pm

Kobe8Fan wrote:BRYANT: He is not my quote unquote "big brother." A big brother would have called to lend his support this summer. I heard absolutely nothing from him. I spoke to Devean [George], Rick [Fox], Mitch [Kupchak], Phil, and our owner Jerry Buss. And Shaq's own Uncle Jerome called and left three messages. Other teammates like Derek [Fisher], Mark [Madsen], and [Stanislav Medvedenko] left messages as well. Opponents called like [Chris] Webber, [Mike] Bibby, and many others. So did a lot of coaches. Michael Jordan, who didn't have my home phone, tracked it down to lend his support. So did Tiger Woods. But yet from my so-called big brother, I heard nothing.


that says it all right there. bye shaq f off.
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Postby RHCP on Wed Jul 21, 2004 10:13 pm

kobe is right about everything.
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Postby dj vitus on Wed Jul 21, 2004 10:17 pm

Kobe's game will speak for itself. :jam2:
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Postby Aonex on Wed Jul 21, 2004 10:20 pm

I think we all need to print that interview out and laminate it. Then, we need to recite Kobe's words verbatim everyday, cause that right there is THE TRUTH.
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Postby d.James on Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:12 pm

I don't understand. He kills Shaq for not calling him about his court case, but his communication to Shaq is through the media?

Magic Johnson himself said that this should've been kept in-house. He said that when he had problems with Worthy or Kareem, he walked to his locker, and said something.

If Shaq's selfishness hurt the team in 2003, where were those comments. Bryant doesn't say "I tried to talk to him." He says: "I tried to get Phil to talk to him."

I don't think Shaq is the most mature person. He's child-like personality makes a great post-game sound byte, but it could lend itself to selfishness. I just don't see Kobe Bryant blameless in this situation.

And does Kobe have a deal with Jim Gray? The 2002 All-Star Game, breaking the news at the '03 draft that Kobe was opting out, this interview, and the recent re-signed/post-Shaq interview. I'm sure there is more. What is it about Jim Gray?
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Postby Aonex on Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:15 pm

No, Kobe is not blameless. But he's pretty much right on with his description of Shaq.
In the real world, the day Steph awoke at 9 a.m. to begin his Ustream show, Kobe Bryant probably awoke at the same time, even if it was 6 a.m. in California, and lifted weights.
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Postby LakersPride on Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:29 pm

Just rereading this interview makes me realize how right Kobe is about everything, and how Shaq is suck a big D I C K!!!!

Kobes right about Shaq crying for contract while Malone and GP play for nothing.

Kobes right about Shaq wanting the team for himself, but not being a good leader, and being unprofessional and lazy and fat.

Kobe is right about every damn thing he said!!!!
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Postby d.James on Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:31 pm

Aonex wrote:No, Kobe is not blameless. But he's pretty much right on with his description of Shaq.


Well, my point is the description shouldn't have been made. And did you feel that way on June 1 of this year?

I haven't been here that long, but I didn't see any anti-Shaq posts until five minutes after he demanded a trade. If Kobe was seeing this as far back as 2001, did you think Kobe was giving an accurate assessment of Shaquille O'Neal when this interview was originally released?

(edit): by the way I am asking this same question with regards to Rasheed in my home forum. He went from savior to old and a cancer in a matter of three days.
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Postby Aonex on Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:33 pm

EMC wrote:If Shaq's selfishness hurt the team in 2003, where were those comments. Bryant doesn't say "I tried to talk to him." He says: "I tried to get Phil to talk to him."


I think it made sense for Kobe to go to Phil to try and mediate. A lot of things can go wrong when you have two large egos talking to one another. I mean, these guys aren't exactly great communicators... they're basketball players. I'd leave the talking to Phil... less room for saying the wrong thing or insulting the other player.
In the real world, the day Steph awoke at 9 a.m. to begin his Ustream show, Kobe Bryant probably awoke at the same time, even if it was 6 a.m. in California, and lifted weights.
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Postby Aonex on Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:37 pm

EMC wrote:Well, my point is the description shouldn't have been made. And did you feel that way on June 1 of this year?


Well, I wasn't posting on this board back then, but I do remember reading the transcript on the paper the next day. Look, all these criticisms of Shaq have been made over and over again the past few years. Big topic of discussion with my fellow co-workers when I was working in L.A. But yeah, only started posting on this board recently, so not sure what was said back then.
In the real world, the day Steph awoke at 9 a.m. to begin his Ustream show, Kobe Bryant probably awoke at the same time, even if it was 6 a.m. in California, and lifted weights.
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Postby d.James on Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:40 pm

It might have been the smart move to go to Phil to accurately communicate his concerns, but how does that then become "Let's call up Jim Gray."

The media is going to run with the story. They are going to say your name and Shaq being fat, his toe injury not being serious - as many times as possible, and it will make you look bad.

They were communicating through the media. That's the absolutely worst way to bring something up. It should've been settled in-house. Phil Jackson isn't the only person in the organization who can mediate.
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Postby Aonex on Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:43 pm

Haha... yeah, one of the few things I remember from that interview was the Shaq being fat comment, and yeah, that was out of line. I think with all that was going on w/ Kobe and the trial, he probably just got fed up. Remember, it was always Shaq who went to the media and made insinuations about his disagreements with Kobe. Kobe for the most part never spoke up. Guess he just had enough.
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Postby Propulsion on Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:50 pm

yeah they should definitely have not brought it out to the media. But you must remember that it was Shaq who came out to the media to blast Kobe first. And, if you're the leader of the team, then that is just a class-less act. I felt that way when he said it. I was mad at both of them for bringing this out to the media. Kobe could have confronted this situation with Shaq without bringing this out to the media also (It would have made shaq look even more bad when the "second-option" of the team shows better leadership than the "first-option"). But hey, it was more of shaq's fault than kobe's. But what they both did, might have ruined their whole season. Actually, it did ruin their whole season. :disagree: :disagree:
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Postby koberulz275 on Thu Jul 22, 2004 12:19 am

I remember reading this interview last summer, and realized at that time that every word was the truth. From that point in time, i loved shaq's game, but hated his attitude. He shouldn't demand a trade and disrespect the organization that much over such trivial matters. He started the entire feud by criticizing his teammates and management without stopping. If he was really the leader, he wouldn't keep whining. It is sads for fans like me who just want to watch my favorite team play for the championship. I love the drama on the court, but off the court like this is just horrible. It's because people like shaq care about only themselves, that all of us fans have to watch the team we love suffer. It destroyed our season. At least there won't be any of this next season, until the lakers play the heat. I hope a lot of the drama will be gone next season. :disagree: :disagree: :disagree:
I am upset about losing a great player like shaq, but very glad we got rid of such a horrible character. I have no respect for shaq the person, only the basketball player.
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Postby d.James on Thu Jul 22, 2004 12:26 am

It's the Piston fan in me, I have to do this:

Riled-up Stackhouse: Hill is 'soft'

While on caravan, Piston rips quotes of former teammate

September 20, 2000
By Chris McCosky / The Detroit News

TRAVERSE CITY -- It is, technically, a goodwill promotional mission the Pistons are on. But things got a little chilly when the topic of ex-Piston Grant Hill came up.

A caravan, which included Jerry Stackhouse and Chucky Atkins, Coach George Irvine and team president Joe Dumars, barnstormed its way through the state Tuesday. They greeted legislators at the State Capitol in Lansing. They thrilled some 4,500 screaming and stomping elementary school kids at Rockford High School outside of Grand Rapids. And they won new friends at the casinos and resorts in Traverse City.

But there was some tension early in the day.

"Did you see what he said?" Stackhouse asked, referring to quotes attributed to Hill and published in the Orlando Sentinel late last week.

Hill, commenting on the Magic's large turnout for nonmandatory workouts, was quoted as saying: "To have everyone here this time of year is amazing to me. It's a rarity in this league. In Detroit, we'd get maybe four-five guys come in. And then two days before camp, everyone would show up."

Stackhouse couldn't believe it. First of all, last summer the Pistons had nearly 20 players working out at the practice facility nearly every day, and usually twice a day. Again this year, except for Jud Buechler and newly acquired Billy Owens, every Pistons player under contract has been in working out.

Second, Hill rarely if ever was among the Pistons participating in precamp workouts. He usually chose to work out on his own.


"He's soft, and I just look at those comments as soft," Stackhouse said. "He just wants to pacify whoever he is speaking with. That's why a lot of people I meet in the city never could relate to him. He's not a straight shooter."


Hill also angered Stackhouse when he said, "I know I can play better, and I'm ready to do that now. This is the first time since my rookie year that I am genuinely excited about the start of training camp."


Said Stackhouse: "Those comments right there tell a lot of the people in the city just where he really stands and how he feels about the time he was here."

Said a fan in Lansing who approached Stackhouse for an autograph: "Can you do me a favor, Stack? Put a dunk on Grant Hill for me."

"That's what I'm going to try to do," Stackhouse said, laughing.
Stackhouse left the caravan Tuesday night. He will be filming an ESPN SportsCenter commercial today, then a public-service announcement Thursday for the National Diabetes Education Program.

Hill did not return telephone messages seeking comment on Stackhouse's views.


http://www.detnews.com/2000/pistons/000 ... 122930.htm

Just trying to remind you this situation isn't that unique, and while it may make you feel better to bash Shaq and raise Kobe to a higher level, no one is perfect.
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Postby gill on Thu Jul 22, 2004 12:58 am

Wow... that interview definitely refreshed my mind.
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Postby baller4life on Thu Jul 22, 2004 1:07 am

i totally agree with kobe.
if shaq really dont show his support to Kobe for the case he is a big fool, he cant realize that basketball is basketball but this case right now is more important for kobe then everything else and if shaq respects kobe he must show his support! :mad1:
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Postby GuRu on Thu Jul 22, 2004 5:10 am

This went on at a crazy time for the lakers.....Shaq said this, Kobe said that....it was a bad situation. Regardless of how fed up Kobe was or how stupid and insensitive Shaq was being (we all know the "my team is here" comments) Kobe still should have shut his mouth like he always does. I do respect him for actually speaking his mind but it prolly wasnt the best to air it to the media. I dont know how they (Shaq and Kobe) communicate, but its better to go and talk personally....IN HOUSE.....Kobe made a mistake, even though he was taunted and was at a very crappy time in his life (injury, rape trial, marraige) i dont agree with kobe giving that interview. Even though a lot of it is true, we all know Kobe, without you saying it, shaq's own supid comments made it obvious.

You can see he learned from this by his interview lately, nothing but nice things to say about Shaq and wishes of good luck, but you know there a large part of him that is happy he is gone.
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Postby purple_and_gold_fever on Thu Jul 22, 2004 2:56 pm

i didnt know kobe said somethin like that about shaq.... and im glad he did...
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Postby gill on Thu Jul 22, 2004 11:22 pm

purple_and_gold_fever wrote:i didnt know kobe said somethin like that about shaq.... and im glad he did...


Critics and other fans actually slammed him for saying that. Now everybody knows how true those statements was.
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Postby LakersGyrl2003 on Thu Jul 22, 2004 11:28 pm

It wouldn't be Hollywood without any kinda drama. :man8:
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Postby lakerfanimal on Thu Jul 22, 2004 11:29 pm

its sad, they wer lik batman n robin, but wen batman starts eatin too much, problems arise (no ffense shaq)
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Postby brucewayne on Fri Jul 23, 2004 3:40 am

I think Kobe did the right thing...for one... when you are an allstar basketball player(or a star in any capacity) you live under a microscope....and kobe was constantly being ripped through the media...and the masses were only hearing one side of the argument...therefore you had everybody kissing shaq's a$$....and coming down on Kobe....so i feel he has all the right in the world to defend his self through the media...and let his voice be heard....i don't know about the rest of ya'll...but all's fair in love in war where i'm from....put it like this....if you at a party and a dude slaps you right there in front of the whole party....are you gonna shake it off...and talk to him later...after everyone leaves or when ya'll are alone....or are you gonna take his head off right there in front of those same people he slapped in front of...if you said you'd wait....then you are what we call a bustah....it's easy to sit behind the computer screen and say who shoulda been more grown up and what not...but i wonder wich of you are living those words in real life...not in this virtual world....if it had been me i would have probably done worse than Kobe....so i have no room to talk....do you?
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