Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby Battle Tested20 on Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:13 pm

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With reconciliation not an option between feuding stars Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal after the 2004 season, the Lakers were forced to choose sides.

Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss opted for the younger Bryant, who later rewarded him with two championships. Now nearly nine years later, the Lakers are showing their appreciation for O'Neal by retiring his No. 34 jersey Tuesday night, when the Lakers face the Dallas Mavericks.

Splitting up has helped Kobe and Shaq gain some appreciation for each other. (Getty Images)In one of the team's signature eras, Shaq and Kobe made four NBA Finals appearances with the Lakers, winning three consecutive titles from 2000-02.

O'Neal won his only post-Lakers title with the Miami Heat in 2006, and it's something Bryant won't let the big man live down.

"I always remind him every time I see him," Bryant, who's won five championships with the Lakers, told Yahoo! Sports. "I saw him after the All-Star Game and said, 'How you doing, 'Four' ?' He said, 'Oh, you [expletive].' [Our relationship is] really good now. We have such a mutual respect for each other."

But it wasn't always that way.

The NBA has not had many duos as talented as O'Neal and Bryant, who each had huge egos that proved more challenging than any opponent.

Bryant viewed O'Neal as out of shape and overweight, and questioned his leadership. O'Neal pointed out that he was the "big dog" on the team. He thought Bryant was selfish and didn't pass the ball enough. O'Neal would later say the biggest issues between the two were of the marketing variety.

After falling to the Detroit Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals, Bryant had enough when O'Neal compared him to Penny Hardway and the All-Star guard said there was "not a chance" they could play together again.

"It was inevitable," Bryant said. "You can't expect Michael [Jordan] to play with Wilt [Chamberlain] for his entire career. That's just not going to work. I had too much talent and too much to showcase. And then there was a challenge issued by him about me not being able to win without him. That's a challenge I couldn't pass.

"But ultimately during those years I sacrificed a lot, numbers-wise, to play with him. The thing that always bothered me was people said, 'Well, Kobe's selfish.' I'm not selfish. If I was selfish, I would have left. I gave up a lot to play with him."

What if the Lakers had chosen O'Neal over Bryant?

"I would have went some place else and won more championships," Bryant said. "That's how driven I was. I was just that obsessed about winning without him. Everything was about that. I was obsessive about it and there was nothing that was going to get in my way."

O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat on July 14, 2004, for Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Brian Grant and first- and second-round picks. Bryant was re-signed by the Lakers the next day, but that didn't put an end to the rivalry.

In 2009, O'Neal was videotaped rapping at a club, where he said, "Kobe couldn't do it without me" while offering other explicit, taunting lyrics. Bryant responded by winning championships in 2009 and 2010. Among Bryant's first comments after winning the 2010 title was that he had passed O'Neal, who eventually retired in 2011.

"Personalities and playing for each other weren't the best of dynamics because he always wanted to do things a certain way and I was always on him about his work ethic," Bryant said. "He didn't want to hear that, but I didn't care.

"It was tough for that relationship to work forever. But there was a mutual respect, and that's why you see us engaging with each other and conversing with each other because we knew what that was about."

Despite the many issues, Bryant added that he "really, really learned a lot" during O'Neal's time with the Lakers from 1996-2004.

"The thing that I respected about him was when he stepped on the court he was ferocious. That's the thing we both had in common. Between those lines nothing could stop us," Bryant said.

O'Neal averaged 27 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.5 blocks per game in 514 regular-season contests with the Lakers. His best Laker season was the 1999-2000 campaign in which he averaged an NBA-best 29.7 points per game and won the regular-season and NBA Finals MVP awards.

O'Neal will become the ninth Laker to have his jersey retired when his No. 34 is hung in the Staples Center rafters Tuesday night. The others honored: Wilt Chamberlain (13), Elgin Baylor (22), Gail Goodrich (25), Magic Johnson (32), Kareem Abdul-Jabaar (33), James Worth (42), Jerry West (44) and Jamaal Wilkes (52), who are all in the Hall of Fame. While O'Neal was known for his toughness on the floor, Bryant believes a softer side will be seen Tuesday night.

"Throughout his career he's always tried not to be sensitive," Bryant said. "But hopefully he will kind of let himself go a little bit. The fans should give him what he deserves because he gave us phenomenal, phenomenal years."


http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba--as-the-lakers-prepare-to-retire-shaq-s-jersey--kobe-now-appreciates-his-former-foe-184336128.html;_ylt=Al09irW_21ILdv0FRW87SCq8vLYF;_ylu=X3oDMTRrMDhxYXBtBG1pdANMSVNUUyBNaXhlZCBMaXN0IE5CQSBFeHBlcnRzBHBrZwNmZjk3ZGUxNi1hYWE4LTNhMmQtYTYzNS0xMDU4YTQ3MTJjOWYEcG9zAzEEc2VjA01lZGlhQkxpc3RNaXhlZExQQ0FUZW1wBHZlcgM2NDAxYjNhMy05YWZlLTExZTItYjdmYi0xNTQ3MzU4ZDNiMDM-;_ylg=X3oDMTFoNjVvZWVyBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANuYmEEcHQDc2VjdGlvbnM-;_ylv=3

"The thing that I respected about him was when he stepped on the court he was ferocious. That's the thing we both had in common. Between those lines nothing could stop us," Bryant said.

^That's what I'll always remember about Shaq when he was with the Lakers. He talked a lot and yet more times than not backed it up. If you were in his way he was going to put you through the hoop with his power and dominance.

I'm really looking forward to his retired jersey ceremony tomorrow before the Lakers-Mavs game.
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby therealdeal on Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:28 pm

Nice read.

I don't want Howard to be Shaq, I want him to be greater. If Shaq had half of Kobe's work ethic where do you think he'd be right now? Shaq never needed it, so he never developed that character. I want Howard to see tonight, realize that, and realize that when everything is said and done he can WORK HARDER than Shaq. He can give us MORE.
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby CaCHooKa Man on Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:30 pm

the retirement ceremony is during halftime and kobe wont be present since hell be with the team in the locker room. hes recording a message though. itll be phils first time being visible at the staples center since he retired. at least MDA wont be there to hear the "we want phil" chants once he starts speaking.
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby Battle Tested20 on Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:18 pm

therealdeal wrote:Nice read.

I don't want Howard to be Shaq, I want him to be greater. If Shaq had half of Kobe's work ethic where do you think he'd be right now? Shaq never needed it, so he never developed that character. I want Howard to see tonight, realize that, and realize that when everything is said and done he can WORK HARDER than Shaq. He can give us MORE.

I agree, and only time will tell if Dwight can develop into that. From a defensive standpoint I think he is already or can be better than Shaq. It's just whether or not Dwight had be that consistent dominant force on the offensive end where you can throw it down to him and feel good about it.

As for the ceremony being at halftime I didn't know that. but CaChooka your right in there MDA will be glad he's in the locker room because its going to be loud when Phil gets up :man10:

I sort of hope like Kobe mentioned in that article I posted lets all his emotions out a little if he can. Tomorrow night will be a take to reflect and celebrate his time with the Lakers. Love him or hate him tomorrow is his night.
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby Finwë on Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:47 pm

I understand the value of work ethic, but considering the talent disparity between the two, and the fact that Dwight isn't 100% the way he used to be before the injury (and we don't know if he'll ever be the same, whether because he's getting older or because he was never able to completely put the injury behind him -he's getting closer though-), I don't think the can give us the same that Shaq did, let alone more..
I can't see Dwight ever being close to as dominant on offense as Shaq was.. Despite Howard being an athletic freak on his own, he doesn't compare to Shaq in terms of physical dominance. His touch around the basket isn't better than Shaq's nor is it his offensive IQ.. He's played 9 years so far and he's close to not being a #1 offensive option (he hasn't had the ability to be it this season at all. Maybe that will improve with off-season work and health). I don't see that drastically changing.
Maybe he can be dominant defensively, but that's the one side of the floor where you really, really can't do it by yourself. He's going to have to have help, a lot more than he's had this year, on that end.

Bottom line, despite his unremarcable work ethic, Shaq was a once-in-a-life-time specimen, a dominant monster, and I don't see Howard coming close to that level of production.
Last edited by Finwë on Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby therealdeal on Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:49 pm

I didn't say he would be better than Shaq. I said he could give US more than what Shaq gave us. Shaq gave us 3 rings. Dwight can give us more.
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby Finwë on Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:57 pm

therealdeal wrote:I didn't say he would be better than Shaq. I said he could give US more than what Shaq gave us. Shaq gave us 3 rings. Dwight can give us more.

Shaq gave us extremely dominant play (along with Kobe), which led to 3 rings.
I don't see Dwight being as dominant, and even less likely I don't see us finding a 1.b option as good as young Kobe..
Hopefully I'm wrong and a new dynasty emerges
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby karacha on Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:59 pm

Finwë wrote:Maybe he can be dominant defensively, but that's the one side of the floor where you really, really can't do it by yourself. He's going to have to have help, a lot more than he's had this year, on that end.


Actually, this is an understatement: he didn't have any real help this year, except sometimes from Metta. Which is sad, but true. Most of the time he is out there playing D on his own, and it's hard to watch. One has to feel sorry for him sometimes. His individual D (and rebounding) has actually won us few games this year late in the 4th.

I know this is off-topic, but... it can't be stressed enough if we want to be back as a true contender.

Everything else you said is 100% true. Shaq was an unbelievable physical specimen and who knows if we are going to see another player like that any time soon. Probably not.
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby lakersin4 on Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:11 pm

Shaq played 19 seasons with that massive frame of his. I know he was out of shape at times but noone makes it that long in the league without a good work ethic. Did he work as hard as Kobe? Probably not, but I doubt anyone ever has..
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby therealdeal on Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:15 pm

Finwë wrote:
therealdeal wrote:I didn't say he would be better than Shaq. I said he could give US more than what Shaq gave us. Shaq gave us 3 rings. Dwight can give us more.

Shaq gave us extremely dominant play (along with Kobe), which led to 3 rings.
I don't see Dwight being as dominant, and even less likely I don't see us finding a 1.b option as good as young Kobe..
Hopefully I'm wrong and a new dynasty emerges

I think you're reading too much into the individual. At least for me and what I was saying is that Dwight has the ABILITY to give us 4 rings as an integral piece. I believe this absolutely.

I'm not saying he's going to recreate Shaq/Kobe. I'm not saying he's going to be Shaq. Just as Dwight and Shaq are surprisingly alike, some of their game is dramatically different. Dwight defensively is better naturally than Shaq. By a lot. Just like Shaq was far more dominant than Dwight could hope for offensively.

And I think Dwight can absolutely have an impact near to Shaq's. No, Dwight isn't what Shaq was physically. Not really close. BUT Shaq was big for his era of bigger men. Dwight is big for this era of smaller (and quicker) men. He can have a similar impact on this smaller sized league.
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby Finwë on Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:53 pm

OK, thinking of it like that, it's possible I guess. I don't think it's likely that he'll be a part of 4 laker championship teams, but it's possible.


Karacha, I agree it was an understatement. Our defense has been absolutely atrocious through many games this season, and despite the fact I think some blame needs to be assigned to the coaching staff for making seemingly no system adjustments, it really boils down to our personnel, we just have too many guys that can be weak links on D, and that has hurt us bad. Dwight's almost on his own on several plays a game as a defender, it's sad.
"The first time I ever saw my uniform hanging in the locker I put it on right away, and it just felt like I was putting on golden armour. From that day forward, I just called it 'the golden armour', it just felt like there was something mystical and magical about it" - Kobe Bryant.
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby noobiew on Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:25 pm

Shaq totally deserve to have his jersey retired and hung in the Staples Center rafters, congrats
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby Maluco Beleza on Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:45 pm

why can't kobe be out there and say something?
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby Center Court on Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:20 pm

I for one would take Shaq/Kobe any day over Jordan/Pippen. Not to seem naive to the Bulls greatness, but having that guy in the middle who there was literally NOTHING you could do do stop him is the rarest of luxuries. Combine that with a guy who played an equal or even better second fiddle than Pippen and could at least come VERY CLOSE to Jordan's output, it's just scary.

Had those 2 been closer in age, had a good relationship, and PJ guiding them, I think 7 was easy for them.

When the whole Kobe Shaq fued was boiling over, I was vehemently in Kobe's side. While Kobe was the right decision, I sincerely hope that Shaq's importance to this franchise and all time historical greatness is never over looked or forget.

Kobe is not the kind to really gush over another with with his words, but I think you can tell that Kobe and Shaq have the highest form of basketball admiration for each. I don't know their personal situation, but I'm betting they are way beyond just being able to get along.

I'm far more excted for the ceremoney than the game. As Kobe said, maybe Shaq will really open up and show his love for this city and franchise. Who knows, maybe one day we see Shaq and Dwight work together. Shaq has said he'd do it and if Dwight can combine a bit of KAJ with Hakeem with Shaq... good lord.
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby Nashty Gal on Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:42 pm

Man I so badly want to be at the game tomorrow. I love and miss shaq's time here. It's nice to look back at all the positive and i'm glad they're good and show so much respect for each other. Can't wait for tomorrow!
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby wcsoldier81 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:50 am

therealdeal wrote:I didn't say he would be better than Shaq. I said he could give US more than what Shaq gave us. Shaq gave us 3 rings. Dwight can give us more.


It's more like " insert true number 1 option" + D12 could give us more than 3 rings .... the question is whether we'll get a new number 1 option or not ...

Our team ceiling with a healthy D12 as the main guy would be WCF at very best ( WCSF is more likely to be honest)
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby karacha on Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:57 am

Maluco Beleza wrote:why can't kobe be out there and say something?


Because he will be in the locker room.
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby puffyusaf#2 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:10 am

karacha wrote:
Maluco Beleza wrote:why can't kobe be out there and say something?


Because he will be in the locker room.


Kobe is obviously being selfish again.
For what it's worth, the Lakers also clinched the Pacific Division, an achievement Bryant dismissed by saying "We don't hang divisions." No, only the big NBA championship banners are considered wall-worthy for the Lakers.
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby therealdeal on Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:49 am

Finwë wrote:OK, thinking of it like that, it's possible I guess. I don't think it's likely that he'll be a part of 4 laker championship teams, but it's possible.


Karacha, I agree it was an understatement. Our defense has been absolutely atrocious through many games this season, and despite the fact I think some blame needs to be assigned to the coaching staff for making seemingly no system adjustments, it really boils down to our personnel, we just have too many guys that can be weak links on D, and that has hurt us bad. Dwight's almost on his own on several plays a game as a defender, it's sad.

That's all I'm saying is that it's possible. If he puts in half the work of Kobe (which is twice as much as Shaq) he can give us the boost we need to remain relevant. Obviously not by himself, but we've freed up all money in 2 years and at that point we're GOING to find a piece that'll get us close. The key is finding the other pieces to fill in the gaps. The Horrys, Fishers, Foxes, Wilkeses, Greens, etc.
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby dmaul on Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:00 am

Really looking forward to this ceremony. Retiring the jersey of an all-time great like Shaq, and one of my personal Laker favorites, will be one of the highlights of this season since we've got nothing else good going on. I'm glad the two buried the hatchet long ago. It was all silly but they were young and you do things like that when you're young and realize it years later when you're older and wiser. In the end, you forget about all that nonsense and are left with memories of the good times, at least that's how it is for me. They gave us many years of entertaining basketball, many memorable moments on the court. Can't wait to see the video montage they put together for Shaq tonight.
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby Vasashi17 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:13 am

I miss the big fella and I hope he gets the reception that he truly deserves! I'm looking forward to celebrating The Diesel tonight....one of my all-time favorite Lakers ever...but if I ever saw him, I would need to pull up a stool, get on top of it and backhand him for that one erroneous year he donned that atrocious green to be with "those guys".

But all is forgiven for tonight Big Fella!
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby dwighthowardsdad on Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:18 am

therealdeal wrote:
Finwë wrote:OK, thinking of it like that, it's possible I guess. I don't think it's likely that he'll be a part of 4 laker championship teams, but it's possible.


Karacha, I agree it was an understatement. Our defense has been absolutely atrocious through many games this season, and despite the fact I think some blame needs to be assigned to the coaching staff for making seemingly no system adjustments, it really boils down to our personnel, we just have too many guys that can be weak links on D, and that has hurt us bad. Dwight's almost on his own on several plays a game as a defender, it's sad.

That's all I'm saying is that it's possible. If he puts in half the work of Kobe (which is twice as much as Shaq) he can give us the boost we need to remain relevant. Obviously not by himself, but we've freed up all money in 2 years and at that point we're GOING to find a piece that'll get us close. The key is finding the other pieces to fill in the gaps. The Horrys, Fishers, Foxes, Wilkeses, Greens, etc.


You're right. I believe Dwight has a chance to win multiple championships. And best of all? Mitch is best at acquiring those pieces next to superstar players like he did with Kobe/Shaq. In this case, we have the most dominant big man in the game when healthy. He's a monster defensively but he does have weaknesses that we have to account for and tailor our free agency acquisitions accordingly.

You can't rely on him in the 4th quarter. So, we need another superstar caliber player who can close games out; similar to the way Kobe did during the first 3-peat era. We need more shooters. Dwight's better at operating with space inside the paint. He was his best effectively in Orlando playing a 4 out 1 in type of offense. Most importantly, we need 2-way players, and more youth on the perimeter to combat these quicker teams, IMO.

We can do all that with the room we're creating financially in 2014. We can even do that this summer depending on how things work out. On topic, though, I love the article. Congrats, Shaq. Thank you for all the memories...
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby wcsoldier81 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:51 am

Shaquille O'Neal's statistical averages in L.A.'s three Finals wins vs. IND, PHI & NJN are absolutely filthy ...
Shaq averaged 35.9 points, 15.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks in the Lakers' three Finals series wins.

Incredible.
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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby bnr034 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:19 pm

We need some loud chants tonight. :jam2: :jam2:
for Shaq and Phil
We need to start the #WeWantPhil movment

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Re: Kobe Now Appreciates His Former Foe

Postby Maluco Beleza on Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:35 pm

I know he's going to be in the locker room.

but he can't get himself together for this once in a life time thing?

seems like he is spiting shaq
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