Another Kobe & Shaq feud...

9ino9ino -=ProFesSoR DuNk=- PExer
By Marc Stein
ESPN.com

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Lakers will open the season Tuesday night at home with all four of their future Hall of Famers starting against the Dallas Mavericks ... but nothing even close to total harmony.

That's because Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant are feuding anew, out in the open, after a long thaw in their historically icy relationship. O'Neal and Bryant seemed to be interacting comfortably Sunday on the practice floor, sharing the ball freely during an afternoon workout. Then they traded nasty verbal jabs after the session -- arguably their harshest comments since L.A.'s second championship season -- all stemming from O'Neal's suggestion Friday night in Las Vegas that Bryant "should probably look to be more of a passer until he gets his legs strong."

Bryant, recovering from offseason knee and shoulder surgeries, didn't welcome the suggestion, saying: "I definitely don't need advice on how to play my game."

Not even advice from O'Neal?

"Definitely not," Bryant continued. "I know how to play my guard spot. He can worry about the low post, and I'll worry about the [perimeter]."

When apprised of Bryant's reaction, O'Neal lashed out harder.

"As we start this new season, we want [expletive] done right," Shaq said. "If you don't like it, then you can opt out next year. As long as it's my team, then I'll voice my opinion. If you don't like it, then opt out."

That was a reference to Bryant's plan to exercise an option in his contract at season's end and test the free-agent market next summer, a stance Bryant has said he won't change in the wake of his felony sexual assault charge in Colorado.

Asked to clarify his "my team" remark, O'Neal added: "Everybody knows that. You [media] guys may give it to [Bryant] like you've given him everything else his whole lifetime, but this is the Diesel's ship. So ... if you ain't right [physically], don't be trying to go out there and get right on our expense. Use the people out there, then when you get right you [can] do what you do."

Not since the middle of the 2001-02 season -- the second of L.A.'s three consecutive championships -- have O'Neal and Bryant sparred in the press like this. Their relationship seemed to blossom into friendship during the third championship and also appeared to survive last season's 11-19 start and subsequent crash out of the playoffs with a second-round loss to San Antonio.

Throughout this first month back to work, however, there have been thinly veiled hints from O'Neal that problems have resurfaced, starting from the veterans' first day of training camp in Hawaii. Bryant did not fly on the Lakers' team charter and reported to camp a day late. O'Neal said at the time that "the full team is here," leading some to speculate that he preferred to play this season without the distractions attached to Bryant's court case.

Days later, explaining why he was sitting out an exhibition game with a sore left heel, O'Neal said: "I want to be right [in the regular season] for Derek, Karl and Gary.'' He was referring to Derek Fisher and new teammates Karl Malone and Gary Payton -- and O'Neal ommitted Bryant's name from the conversation more than once.

Malone and Payton, by contrast, have publicly supported Bryant as strongly as anyone in Lakers circles. But even Payton has urged Bryant to ease his way back into the team flow, after Bryant fatigued quickly and shot poorly in the second half of the Lakers' final two exhibition games.

Eyebrows were also raised when Bryant, for Thursday's exhibition in Anaheim against the Clippers, rode his motorcycle to and from the game instead of riding on the team bus.

Yet O'Neal, when pressed, insisted that the Lakers can play through any problems he's having with Bryant.

"I don't really worry about that," O'Neal said when asked about the state of the relationship. "I'm here to do a job. ... If he's open, I'm going to give it to him. If I'm open, I expect him to give it to me. I don't care about [expletive] else he does, and I know he don't care [expletive] else I do."

What's clear is that Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who spoke to reporters before his stars started volleying barbs, has his first real challenge of the season, less than 48 hours before the season opener. And it's right in his own locker room, not in a Colorado court room.

Asked about how he plans to play against the Mavericks on Tuesday night, Bryant said: "No change in my game whatsoever."

Said O'Neal: "Just ask Karl and Gary why they came here. One person, not two. One. Period. ... I'm not telling [Bryant] how to play his position. I'm telling him how to play team ball."

Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here. Also, click here to send a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=stein_marc&id=1647603

june_dunk.gif
«13

Comments

  • KARTOGKARTOG Member PExer
    Agree 100% with Shaq.

    I hope Kobe demands for a trade right now. If this happens the Lakers should oblige if they can get T-Mac, AI or any other roughly equivalent talent so Kobe can be weighed on his own merits alone. He benefits tremendously from Shaq's presence yet he refuses to acknowledge it. Shaq has all the right to take charge of the team.
  • CerberusCerberus Dark Victory PExer
    If the Lakers don't win it this year (or, even the next) because of chemistry problems and lack of focus, imagine what fossils like Malone and Payton would feel. They'd feel like Barkley did when his transfer to Houston failed to satisfy a career-long frustration.
  • caloycaloy Ole Ole Ola PExer
    Originally posted by KARTOG
    Agree 100% with Shaq.

    I hope Kobe demands for a trade right now. If this happens the Lakers should oblige if they can get T-Mac, AI or any other roughly equivalent talent so Kobe can be weighed on his own merits alone. He benefits tremendously from Shaq's presence yet he refuses to acknowledge it. Shaq has all the right to take charge of the team.
    While what Shaquille said about Kobe passing the ball has merits I dont think that he is also entirely blameless for the whole spat. Instead of supporting Kobe like he should, he made veiled comments regarding Kobe during training camp, instigating this fued between him and Kobe.

    My opinion? I think both players should grow up. They already have enough problems as it is without them creating a new one.
  • carshowcarshow The Generator PExer
    This just makes the whole LA Lakers camp the most interesting team to watch- all the drama behind the superstars and their chase to bring back the crown to LA. Saya no?! :glee:

    Sa akin lang, I still say Shaq has reasons to be vocal. last year he was quite frustrated he wasnt the focal point of the Laker offense. Now that hes back in shape, he sure does hope he'll have more touches this time. Si Kobe kasi, well....:D

    Well, I am not a huge Lakers fan but I think this will be patched up very soon.
  • kobe is having this superiority complex, which he shouldn't have he has not proven EVERYTHING unlike MJ (MJ has all the bragging rights in the world because of what he has already done)

    kobe is a superstar, period but if he still acts like that in the Laker camp, follow Jerry West to Memphis
  • shox920shox920 Slightly Green Minded ✭✭
    Trade Kobe for McGrady
  • schmidtschmidt Member PExer
    this may be far-fetched, but if my theory is correct, then i would have to say that shaq is simply brilliant.

    you heard me. brilliant.

    the kobe bryant case has taken all of the spotlight this preseason. it is the one event that eclipsed the hype of newcomer lebron james. it is also the one event that could serve as la's biggest distraction - an issue outside of basketball.

    i believe that shaq understood this. shaq knew that this was the only situation his lakers had not faced yet. it's the only issue this season that might actually hinder la's success. and he's trying to take the heat off this issue and spreading it in incremental servings into other sub-issues.

    and i think it's a logical theory considering shaq's recent actions:

    1) his contract extention quips at jerry buss
    2) saying that his whole team was present, when kobe was not
    3) doing it for gary, karl, and derek (not kobe)
    4) now this "pass more" thing

    no matter how you put it, our attention is, in fact, veering away from the kobe bryant case, isn't it? we're starting to get nostalgic about their prior feuds and starting to think of either shaq or kobe as 'jerks'... of course in a basketball/hyped manner.

    the kobe bryant case will be here for the next year, maybe even after that. but with shaq's mini-outrages, the lakers can hope that the attention of the masses would be diverted, even in incremental servings.
  • schmidtschmidt Member PExer
    also, can i just thwart those 'trade kobe' suggestions and say categorically that there is no chance in hell that it would happen. why? because there are few players in the nba that can approximate kobe's skill level. to name a few, perhaps they would be mcgrady, duncan, garnett, maybe kidd.

    even on normal circumstances, you would be hard pressed to have any of those players' teams to trade for kobe, if only for the reason of familiarity and loyalty. now if you add kobe's legal baggage to the trade, then chances go down to zilch.

    all other stars - iverson, carter, pierce, etc. are a notch below kobe. even if any of these players' teams are willing to trade for kobe, given his state and all, would you really want to? you have arguably the best shooting guard in the league, and even if you get a lesser star and a role player for that, would that really be better for you? would you have ever traded jordan for drexler and terry porter? kobe may not be there yet, but he's the closest there has been to an heir apparent since mj retired the second time.

    it ain't gonna happen.
  • shox920shox920 Slightly Green Minded ✭✭
    Trade Kobe for Carter
  • kixterkixter LordoftheMonsters PExer
    Shaq should start to shut up and play ball.....

    everybody knows that the Lakers are both their team and not one of them can say it is their team!!!

    Shaq said those remarks after just 2 pre-season games.... Kobe was just trying to see and feel the court that is why he shot a lot of times in those pre-season games aside from testing his knees... sheesh... :mad:

    it really became clear that shaq does not want to play with kobe this season because it seems to him that kobe is becoming more and more famous than he is... :shrug:

    but with all these infightings... its a good sign that they will start winning another set of 3 championship or even 4.... :baddvl:

    :hiphop:
  • wackymathaywackymathay Great Scott! PExer
    Originally posted by kixter
    Shaq should start to shut up and play ball.....

    everybody knows that the Lakers are both their team and not one of them can say it is their team!!!

    Shaq said those remarks after just 2 pre-season games.... Kobe was just trying to see and feel the court that is why he shot a lot of times in those pre-season games aside from testing his knees... sheesh... :mad:

    it really became clear that shaq does not want to play with kobe this season because it seems to him that kobe is becoming more and more famous than he is... :shrug:

    but with all these infightings... its a good sign that they will start winning another set of 3 championship or even 4.... :baddvl:

    :hiphop:

    good point, but the point you're missing is Shaq is a big fat hypocrite:rolleyes:

    read his comments about "the team being here"...."I want to be right for Derek, Karl and Gary (Kobe excluded)....

    go figure my friend:rolleyes:
  • 9ino9ino -=ProFesSoR DuNk=- PExer
    Kapag di agad nila naayos 'to, we might see Kobe donning a new uniform, come February. The season is still yet to start and we're already seeing the so called 'Clash of the Egos'. It's only a matter of time for Malone and Payton to speak up their mind too. Well kung di na talaga nila maayos, the Lakers better trade Kobe rather than watch him leave for nothing. The question is, can they get a superstar caliber of Kobe in return? With Kobe's legal problem (that might serve him 15-20 yrs in jail, if found gulity), baka malabo. Kahit siguro... say Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis for Kobe or a simple Paul Pierce for Kobe, baka di pumayag yung other team.

    The other pexer (schmidt) made a good point too. Pwedeng publicity stunt lang to ni Shaq to take away the media attention from Kobe's case. Shaq knows that Kobe is distracted by his legal issues. Maybe this is Shaq's way to refocus Kobe on the court.

    IMO naman, I don't think it's just a PR stunt. I think it's really personal between Kobe and Shaq.

    june_dunk.gif
  • 9ino9ino -=ProFesSoR DuNk=- PExer
    I told you it's just a matter of time. Here's GP's comment...

    "He's got to let his game come to him," Payton said. "Right now, he's so competitive. He wants to go out there and do things. He's got to understand he's got four other guys that's going to help him. Especially with me breaking people down and getting to the basket"


    june_dunk.gif
  • kixterkixter LordoftheMonsters PExer
    Originally posted by 9ino
    Kapag di agad nila naayos 'to, we might see Kobe donning a new uniform, come February. The season is still yet to start and we're already seeing the so called 'Clash of the Egos'. It's only a matter of time for Malone and Payton to speak up their mind too. Well kung di na talaga nila maayos, the Lakers better trade Kobe rather than watch him leave for nothing. The question is, can they get a superstar caliber of Kobe in return? With Kobe's legal problem (that might serve him 15-20 yrs in jail, if found gulity), baka malabo. Kahit siguro... say Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis for Kobe or a simple Paul Pierce for Kobe, baka di pumayag yung other team.

    The other pexer (schmidt) made a good point too. Pwedeng publicity stunt lang to ni Shaq to take away the media attention from Kobe's case. Shaq knows that Kobe is distracted by his legal issues. Maybe this is Shaq's way to refocus Kobe on the court.

    IMO naman, I don't think it's just a PR stunt. I think it's really personal between Kobe and Shaq.

    june_dunk.gif

    THey are already speculating a trade that will happen since there are some "associates" of kobe saying that he doesn't like to play with Shaq after this season anymore...

    they are saying that they might trade him to the bulls for Chandler, Marshall or Chandler, Rose, Pippen.... I don't know if this will work out in the end since they are also going to think about the legal implications that Bryant is on right now...

    just hope that this is just one of their stunts.... :shrug:

    :hiphop:
  • YouNG_BizKiTYouNG_BizKiT spot-up sniper PExer
    yep! another stunt! believe me!

    kobe took his motorcycle instead of the team bus last thursday at the pond??? woooshooo!!! kung nag motor lang talaga si kobe e d dapat nalaman ko yan, andon ako eh! basta, dein totoo to sa tingin ko... stunt nga lang ni shaq malamang! henyo talaga mga tiga L.A!!!

    chaka nung game nila againts the kings sa nevada nag uusap naman silang dalawa ah... ngitian pa nga eh... dein toh! stunt lang yan....
  • tamisguytamisguy chocolate coated BAd BOY! PExer
    Originally posted by shox920
    Trade Kobe for McGrady

    Vince is soft. No defense and easily falls in love with his jump shot. Not even close to Kobe.

    Personally, I think they should just both shut up. But that's what makes the laker team tick. Adversity. :D

    LAKERS will rule!! :cheers:
  • LA Lakers is Shaq's Team. Lakers will always be a title contender even without a Kobe Bryant. Kobe will never have an MVP trophy if stays with the lakers go to Memphis KObe
  • wackymathaywackymathay Great Scott! PExer
    Originally posted by reginalddennisk
    LA Lakers is Shaq's Team. Lakers will always be a title contender even without a Kobe Bryant. Kobe will never have an MVP trophy if stays with the lakers go to Memphis KObe

    yeah right Kobe hater.....keep on yapping!:rolleyes:
  • neth_rowneth_row Moderator ✭✭
    I'm behind Kobe on this one. He has been carrying Shaq and his big fat ugly toe for the past 2 years. He has sacrificed his game to keep Shaq happy. Tapos ngayong Kobe is experiencing difficulties both in his personal and professional career, biglang magla-lash out na lang basta si Shaq.

    The Lakers would've been just contenders without Kobe. It was Kobe who made the crucial shots and plays for the Lakers' 3 titles, not Shaq.
«13

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file