Kobe Bryant On Shaq: ‘It Used To Drive Me Crazy That He...

Kobe Bryant On Shaq: ‘It Used To Drive Me Crazy That He Was So Lazy’


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Before Shaquille O’Neal was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004, Kobe Bryant and the veteran center didn’t really see eye-to-eye in Los Angeles. The two were part of one of the most dynamic duos in NBA history and won three straight titles while playing alongside one another, but the relationship on and off the court simply couldn’t last.

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One of the main reasons the relationship between the two didn’t work out was Kobe being unable to cope with Shaq’s lack of work ethic. Kobe states that clearly in an interview with Ben McGrath of The New Yorker via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:

Kobe went on to say that Shaq basically took the easy way out and described how players should conduct themselves in terms of work ethic via Winters:

Despite an early end to a championship run that could’ve lasted much longer, Kobe and Shaq have been civil over the last few years. The bitterness and “Kobe-Shaq feud” appears to be over with both men moving on.

It’ll be interesting to see if Shaq responds to the comments made by Kobe. Even Phil Jackson has talked about the Kobe-Shaq relationship over the past few years basically saying a lot of the same things.
Frustrated Kobe Bryant On Lakers Terrible Season: ‘I Guess Fail And Be The Best At It’

  • Jim213

    On the Shaq issue (stilomatic would agree too) it’s hard to get somewhat motivated when one is at the top looking down. Shaq’s dominance/rule back in his prime is unquestionable.

    • james

      So if he improved his weaknesses such as FTs and pass skills, Kobe and Shaq would’ve won maybe about 5 more rings straight, am I wrong?

      • Jim213

        Have to give Shaq more credit given he did struggle at the FT line but made the one’s that counted mostly (crunch time). But both couldn’t play together given the media’s hype of who carried who when in actuality both couldn’t have won without the other at that time.

        • http://www.foxhilldesign.com Josh

          Where does this notion come from that Shaq made the free throws that counted? They’re all worth one point, right? And, besides, the stats don’t back it up that he was better in the clutch.

          82games has a random stat article about this using data from the 2003-2006 seasons and playoffs.

          Shaq made 47% of his “regular” free throws and 50% in the final two minutes of close games.

          • Jim213

            Just proved my point and from watching many games he shot crucial FT’s better during clutch moments tho he was Shaq a hacked for a reason. But looking at your 82 game stats Shaq was +.032 better in clutch FT’s over non clutch attempts.

          • http://www.foxhilldesign.com Josh

            First you recite the worn out line that he made the ones that counted. When presented with facts, you change to he shot better when it mattered most. Over that three year span he was 20/40. Bottom line is he only made half, which is basically what he made his entire career. That is far from making most of the ones that matter. If you make them in the 2nd quarter, you don’t end up getting hack-a-shaqed in the 4th quarter.

          • Jim213

            Thought it needed to be rephrased so some could understand it better. Don’t recall saying that Shaq was a great FT shooter? But the facts proof my post that he shot better during clutch moments. Live with it.

          • http://www.foxhilldesign.com Josh

            Don’t get me wrong. I loved Shaq after I warmed up to him. I’m a lifetime Lakers fan who grew up at the end of Kareem’s brilliant career and spent most of my early years as an NBA fan wishing Vlade and Elden Campbell were more like KAJ. I think Shaq was a better, more dominant player than Kareem and would beat ANY center who has ever played the game head-to-head. Even with his terrible free throw shooting and coming into training camp overweight and eventually wearing that ugly, Celtic green jersey, Shaq is my all-time #1 Center.

            However, his free throw shooting was atrocious. It cost the Lakers games they could’ve won otherwise. Yes, he had games here and there where he shot great from the line–I think I remember 12/12 one night–but overall, he only made half of the ones that “didn’t matter” and half of the ones that did. His percentage went up slightly in “clutch” situations, but he did not “mostly” make them.

            There were a lot of reasons Kobe and Shaq didn’t last longer than they did, which is a shame. Even as much as I appreciate Shaq–and I truly did and do, despite my ranting about his free throws–I was okay with that trade that sent him to Miami because he was not a Laker for Life, I recognized he only had a couple good years left in him, and the Lakers got a lot of pieces back in that deal.

  • proamerica

    ‘One of the main reasons the relationship between the two didn’t work out was Kobe being unable to cope with Shaq’s lack of work ethic”

    1. This purely an opinion. Until we get both sides of the story, this is just a heresay.
    2. Why this article now. Shq left 10 years ago. How is this important today.
    3. Kobe was a Robin for the first three rings.

    • Chrmngblly

      This is lame criticism. These is are Kobe’s words. It’s how he felt. Nobody is trying to prove anything else. We don’t need Shaquille’s comments to know how Kobe felt. Other than that, I agree with the comment.

      • http://tkomg.net/ Pope Chuck Paul

        Shaq actually said this on tnt a few weeks ago. phil said it too.

      • proamerica

        Your agreement is not an offer of proof of evidence for.

        • Chrmngblly

          Pro, you don’t need to hear both sides to have an opinion. I’m just saying…Kobe had his opinion. OK?

    • bob

      You’re retarded. Shaq needed Kobe just as bad as Kobe needed him.
      Who did thee Lakers keep? Oh yeah.
      Who won more Championships afterwards? Oh yeah.
      Shaq was the 3rd of 4th wheel on his 4th championship team, as well.
      Silly kids…

    • Shannon

      Then why did Robin win 2 more without Batman and Batman only won one more? What did Shaq do before? Absolutely nothing. Case closed. Fucking haters make me sick. It’s only “batman and robin” when it comes to Kobe. Everyone is just a champion. Check Kobe’s numbers back then and then go eat a bowl of dicks.

      • firstgradedropout

        Kobe was a Robin to Shaq. The Lakers are in last place. With that, the Lakers are attracting retarded illegals like you.

        • http://www.haveslot.com/ richard

          The lakers are in last place without Kobe… amazing how you fail to mention this… When Kobe plays, even with this horrible lineup… we are still good for at least 5th in the West… gosh.. how people think.

        • Shannon

          Answer the question fuckface. The Lakers are starting d-leaguers. Who gives a fuck what place they are in when Kobe hasn’t played? I’m not an illegal you dumb piece of shit. Get a better insult you racist dumbfuck.

          • bowlof…

            Looks like you can eat the bowl of………that you love so much. Why be so sensitive. Deep breath. Breath out. Let the spirit of the universe find a path for a lost soul like you. Did you ever have the papers?

          • Shannon

            I’m not sensitive. That’s just how I like to talk to fucking morons for assuming someone is an “illegal” when they don’t even know them. Too fucking bad. Did you ever have the papers cave dweller racist? Go finish eating that bowl of dicks. I heard you crackers love that shit. Faggot.

          • bowlof….

            It is not my bowl. It is yours Enjoy. Now you are a cannibal-carnivores. Do not give it away where you are from. Papers are not given from those areas. How else did you get here, if you are in Los Angeles or California. Most definitely without paper work.

          • Shannon

            Fuck off with your dumbass ramblings. How did you get here from the Caucasus mountains cave dweller? You can’t even type proper English are you sure you aren’t projecting? Where’s your green card Jose?

        • http://www.foxhilldesign.com Josh

          Kobe and Shaq were not Batman and Robin. They took turns being Batman. They decided in pregame warmups who would be Batman that night.

    • cj

      1. shaq has said the same thing. phil has said the same thing.
      2.a reporter asked kobe about shaq.
      3.there is a legit argument kobe was the finals mvp of two of the three finals. the only finals shaq was better then kobe was the first one.

      • Kay Carter

        lets be honest, Kobe was 2nd option of that team…..when Pau came he was 1st….either way shaq needed Kobe nd vice versa

        • cj

          there is no options in the triangle. shaq played vs lesser talent and it allowed him to be great. the true nba finals was the wcf and kobe out played shaq in 01 and 02.

  • proamerica

    Shaq had injuries. Arthritis.
    This articles is utterly, meaningless, and Kobe’s statements are senseless.

    • cj

      arthritis does not make him come to camp 30+lbs over wight every season.
      arthritis does not mean he cant work on free throws.

      shaq was so good he did not want to work. shaq had everything he needed to be the best center ever but he did not push him self. that’s why kareem, wilt, and bill are better centers all time.

      • proamerica

        If you compare Shaq’s first 10 seasons in the NBA. He is as good if not better than any. And surprisingly you named all the ancients. But missed the best center who ever played in our time. Hakeem.

        • cj

          hakeem is not better then the three i said. hell he might not be better then shaq. i have hakeem 5th all time on the centers list.

  • Sylvia Ross

    If he had lobbied to keep Shaq here he wouldn’t be sweating winning that sixth ring to tie Michael Jordan. Maybe he could have even gotten a seventh ring and could have been the greatest in player in bb history.

    • Jim213

      Disagree, they’d (media who messed things up) still be arguing about who carried who… so if you wanna blame anyone blame the media.

      • Daryl Peek

        The media was not the problem. It was Kobe, Shaq and Phil. All three were tangled up in different personal agenda’s. Kobe wanted a bigger shine. Shaq was cool with the status quo as he always said “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”

        Phil was the puppet master playing their personal drive to out do each other for the benefit of higher performance leading to wins. A very dangerous game playing with peoples emotions like that. West and Winter were always the peace keepers in this mess. Phil grew tired of Kobe constantly bucking the system and sided with Shaq eventually. Phil went to Dr. Buss on a couple of occasions asking him to trade Kobe for players like Jason Kidd or Tracy McGrady. Phil also had a very hard time dealing with Kobe’s Colorado case, as he still had unresolved feelings about his daughter getting raped by an athlete. This led to Dr. Buss’s decision of choosing Kobe over Shaq and Phil. Dr. Buss had grown weary of Phil and his mess, and we all remember Shaq publicly calling out Dr. Buss over a contract dispute.

        This is the inception of the FO dysfunction were still dealing with to this very day. I’ll admit, the media does fan the flames but a united organizational front keeps wiki leaks form dripping.

        • Jim213

          Smh, just like a regular job no occupation lives without personal office issues. Although, kept on the down low BUSINESS STILL GET’S DONE. The same can be said for this situation. But IMO losing to the Pistons really ruffled up feathers as blame went back and forth. However, tho sports media is notches down from Hollywood gossip news they kept chopping at it a little at a time until things boiled over.

          But aside of that egos/legacies were in the way. If FO would’ve kept things in house things may have been different tho doubtful given that both wanted their own legacies. The going back and forth was the main problem being the media wanting a response/view from their prior statements. Both didn’t budge and the results speak for themselves. Blame Kevin Ding and the others at the time! (pun). But it is what it is…

          • Daryl Peek

            Where in that did I say there was no personal issues or shouldn’t be? Winning cures but some things winning cannot even cure. See 2010, then the next season. There’s a constant or two in the Lake Show drama.

          • Jim213

            Proves nothing, but business dealings (possible trades) really put a stop to group cohesion in 2011. As Phil wasn’t going to stick around especially if he didn’t believe they would be able to contend. Bad business dealings didn’t help in which the Lakers got short changed and FO handled things badly which left bitterness in the locker room and in the way things were handled.

          • Daryl Peek

            Personnel moves had nothing to do with the implosion of the 10-11 Lakers. Farmar chose to leave due to being frustrated with Phil and his growth in the triangle. Sasha was traded to bring in a big man for Phil, who had Sasha in his dog house anyway, and gave Shannon Brown his PT. The bitterness in the locker room was just a continuance of the constant drama that always hovered over the Lake Show. Again, there’s a few constants of that era.

            Metta on being coached by Jackson in L.A.: “He would pick on me at practice. Get that spark plug back. … I like how Phil uses the media to get at players, because sometimes if a player is doing something that’s destructive to the team that will never get out in the media, sometimes you have to push his buttons. Because there’s a lot of things that happen that media would never know about and it could affect the team indirectly.”

            And there you have it. Word of mouth proof who leaked stuff to the media in playing the dangerous mind games. Managing it like that has it’s long term effects…

            “My coaching style eventually wears on a team over a period of time. Eventually the group starts to tune the message out.” –Phil Jackson on why he has not been able to sustain the cohesion of Gregg Popovich.

          • Jim213

            Didn’t say this was the primary reason in the debacle but the overall productivity of the team wasn’t good. However, don’t say the problem has been Phil all along or that he’s the whistle blower aka leaker? The secret weapon to his success?!

            It most likely involved motivating players and trying to get them back to their highest level of play. Too many rings to count to pull that off IMO.

  • Bojangles

    People get paid for this? So apparently the definition of Senior Writer is “Person who reports that other people reported something.” These posts should really just be a page of Hyperlinks, it’s pretty much the same thing. Congratulations on the ability to assemble what are basically page-long retweets.

  • Shaq Fu

    Shaq is a lazy fat fuq eating donuts and dropping 28 PPG. and 15 Rebounds that’s Shaq for ya.4 Championships for Shaq and 3 finals MVP’S.

    • Shannon

      That’s because he’s freakishly large and had no real competition. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t lazy.

  • Lord of the rings

    It never works out when someone who is not the boss, new to the company and not it’s most productive employee takes it is upon themselves to try and be your boss . Shaq was out performing Kobe for those early years and Kobe should have
    just done his job.

    If Shaq was not kicking ass and taking names then the criticisms would have a lot more weight. Kobe should thank his lucky stars that a phenomenon like Shaq was there at that early time of his career.

    Now you won’t get your 6th ring Kobe. Do you see the merits of a closed mouth now?

    • Daryl Peek

      Kobe did do his job. How many rings did Shaq win before Kobe matured? Shaq had a monster squad in Orlando! They could not get it done and Shaq had beef with Penny also. Both bare the burden of blame in the break up. Phil does also as he often was the antagonist that sparked the flame between Kobe and Shaq, in trying to get them to out do each other performance wise. Phil did this in Chicago with Pippen and Kukoc. Robert Horry blew the whistle on this little dirty secret of the Zen Masters mind games, as Phil would tell Kobe, Shaq said this, then turn around and tell Shaq Kobe said this.

      I agree Kobe need to let bygones be bygones and mind his tongue better in the media. But that does not mean he’s the one to blame for everything. Shaq is thankful for Kobe as I’m sure Kobe is thankful for Shaq. Some relationships are seasonal and eventually one must move on… as Tex Winter said, “Jordan would have the same issues if he’d played with Shaq. I don’t know how long they would have lasted if they could at all?”

  • sayem quazi

    Lets see without Shaq, Kobe would have 2+ ring. Without Kobe, Shaq would have 1 ring.People tend to forget Shaq wasn’t winning anything until Kobe came around despite playing with other top tier guards. Love the guy, but lets not get into revisionist history like he was some sort of legend that could have won alone. Shaq is just as lucky as Kobe was. Except Shaq’s career was coming to a close.

  • Chad

    Proamerica stfu already! Go check Kobe’s playoff stats they don’t look like a robin without Kobe Shaq would have um….. 1 ring Kobe um …… two who the robin dumbass? Yea he had injuries an arthritis an other problems from not staying n game shape an exercising nor eating right moron! An if anybody don’t agree with common sense cause its very common #killyoself

    • firstgradedropout

      Hate to say it. You sound like first grade drop out. Sorry, even if you try they will not take you back in school. Sorry soul you are. Basketball fans are generally very educated. You are a “fake” fan. Nice try.

      You seem to be having problems with writing too! Where are you from? Do you have papers?

  • Shannon

    Shaq, like Dwight, is an immature lazy clown unappreciative of his natural gifts. If Kobe had Shaq’s body he’d have like 8 rings by now.

  • Daryl Peek

    This is where Kobe sorely lacks in leadership. Ultimately, he’s right about Shaq’s work ethic in general, as it pertains to how he (Kobe) worked his ass off but why does he have to open an old wound? Why does he need to keep throwing so many of his former and current teammates under the bus publicly? This is why there’s always been a strong perception of other star players not wanting to play with him….

    “I was pretty close [to going to LA] to be honest,” Garnett said. “What disturbed me about the whole Laker situation was Kobe [Bryant] and Phil [Jackson] at the time. They was pretty bad. That situation was something I didn’t want to get into. It was my choice. There was a lot going on and I didn’t want to be a part of it.”

    Everything happens for a reason but DAYUM! Can you Imagine Derek Fisher, Kobe, Ariza & Garnett in 2007? We’d still have the draft rights to Marc Gasol our first round picks in 2008 and 2010. Or we could’ve still went through with the Gasol, Kwame Brown trade. Either way that team would be monstrous defensively! I’d hope they would have not done the Gasol trade. Marc Gasol Donte Greene and Greivis Vasquez were the players we’d have from those picks. Enough of the hypothetical’s.

    Checking ego’s at the door is a big reason the Spurs have sustained their standing for so long. It’s what allowed the big three in Boston to come together so quickly in route to their championship.

    Shaq was so gifted he didn’t need to work as hard as Kobe to be great. I’m sure Kobe had some resentment over this, not saying that Kobe was jealous. Shaq is who he is. His was the personality of a big kid much like Howard in wanting to have fun, only he had that killer instinct Howard will never have. Shaq was like the kid who rarely studied but always found a way to get good grades.

    The part of Kobe’s mamba mentality make up that drives him is what keeps him from connecting with others on a personal level it seems. Kobe was always, not one of the fellas. To be honest, it’s still awkward to see him trying to fit in. Perfect example is the revelation of Gasol having never been to Kobe home when Howard visited him after his injury. How is it Howard made his way to see Kobe at his home and Gasol had never been to his road dawgs crib?

    Shaq constantly takes the high road when asked about Kobe now. I’m not trying to attack Kobe character, but when do bygones become bygones?

    • ra

      Let’s face it. EVERYONE is ‘so lazy’ with respect to Kobe. His work ethic is a level or two (or five) above most NBA players.

      That being said, Shaq has an ‘entirely different’ body type, and quite frankly many were amazed that he was able to play ‘basketball’ at the level he played, for the number of years he played. I’m certain Shaq’s physique and health were much harder to maintain than Kobe’s ‘much trimmer’ physique. It’s hard for bigger players (athletes, etc.) to keep it up. Kareem was an exception to that, and Shaq wasn’t only ‘tall’ but ‘big’.

      Yes, even Shaq admitted he could have worked harder given his talents, to make more of an impact in the NBA during his stellar years. Maybe he was just a little tired at maintaining.

      Maybe he was a ‘little’ lazy, or ‘somewhat’ lazy. But … ‘so lazy’? I don’t know about that. Maybe he was ‘so tired’ from running 300+ lbs up and down the court for 2 1/2 hours 80 times a year. Tough for ‘anyone’ to do, let alone a big fella like Shaq.

      Don’t get me wrong – I would really have liked the Shaq-Kobe combo to win a few more rings. And, I usually ‘always’ defend Kobe. Maybe he saw Shaq eating bags of Doritos when he should have practiced, I don’t know. Just hard to keep going in the NBA for even a dozen+ years no matter what level of athleticism you have.

  • Kay Carter

    The thing with Kobe is, he wants everybody to push themselves to the limit, but not everyone is built that way….not everyone have that strong mentality, Shaq felt he didnt have to, because he was gifted not talented

    that’s what separated the two, Kobe always had to work hard to get where he is, Shaq didnt he was naturally big

    • proamerica

      Shaq’s talent was a gift. Kobe haad to work for it. It took kobe 5 seasons to get somewhere.

      Kobe in prime 2003 and 2004 of his career, given that they were not winning, one had to go. It was the older guy with less years left on the clock.

  • proamerica

    Ok, Shaq’s hater. Kobe did become a (ding) Batman in 2003 and 2004. Now Shaq was a Robin.

    With the Role reversed, did the Lakers win?

  • Sh0wt1me

    Serena Winters makes my heart quiver. That’s all I have to say.

  • proamerica

    You Lakers have problems with LBJ, Shaq, Melo.

    The only player that can do no wrong is Nash and the only Coach that is perfect is MDA.

    All yours. Take it way.

  • proamerica

    “Shannon • 14 hours ago

    Answer the question fuckface. The Lakers are starting d-leaguers. Who gives a fuck what place they are in when Kobe hasn’t played? I’m not an illegal you dumb piece of shit. Get a better insult you racist dumbfuck.”

    The Lakers are in the Last Place. I present to you above, yours truly, The Los Angeles Lakers Fans. The character matches the last place, PURE RIFFRAFF.

    So, unAmerica like.

    • http://instagram.com/jeorgephilip Jeorge Philip Santiago

      What makes you think being American means you belong to a superior race in the earth, you racist. That’s why this world is full of idiots, because people like you who view being American that way ends up tainting it instead. “so unAmerica like”? So what, it’s not an insult, it’s a compliment. We from other countries don’t like to be an American LIKE YOU. I only enjoy watching NBA and Lakers there, and that’s all. I would rather watch real football (not “soccer”, a name made by americans) than watch YOUR american football. What makes you think America is the best there is?

      And please get out of Lakers Nation page, you hater. I saw your comments and it was full of garbage, and nonsense things just to prove you look like you know things, but the truth is you’re just a below-average american with no job whatsoever, being fed by your mom, not even paying your own internet bills, and you think yourself as a brilliant american? And you want people to realize that being like you means living a life like a successful american, ask yourself, who would want to be like you? Zzzzzz.

      • proamerica

        Why live in America is there is so much hatred. Oh I forgot, Los Angles Cease being America, is that what you are saying?

        Steve Nash was born in South Africa and was raised in Canada.

        He would never “dog” America because this is where his bread is buttered.

        Since when being American was racist?

        You want racism, read on Aparthied countries, read on Japan, read on UK read on South American Elites etc. Not history, today.

        That is Racism.

        Not once did you condemn the foul languages used by the bloggers, but you have a problem with the word “immigrant”.


        • http://instagram.com/jeorgephilip Jeorge Philip Santiago

          FYI I don’t live there, and I don’t want to, just because it’s your beloved “America”. I have no problem with the immigrant word itself, instead, it’s you who has the problem. Why would you even bring up the topic of others not being raised there, here in a page for the fans of a basketball club. I didn’t said being American means you’re already a racist, I only said being American doesn’t make you like you belong to the best race in earth, because there’s no such thing. It’s people like you who made it look like Americans were racist. Don’t use the word hypocrisy if you’re a hypocrite yourself. There’s no point in arguing to those people who use foul words like fuck or shit because everyone uses it here in the internet, you’ll just make a fool out of yourself, just like what you did.

          • proamerica

            I am not a racist. I AM NOT A RACIST.

            I did not realize that the “I” word is racist.

            I do have problems with people using foul. Language. And that offends me more than the “I” word so we are all not the same.

            So it is hypocrisy to designate some words to be racist and some not.

            I would suggest that everyone use polite language then there will be no problems. Regardless if we agree or not.

    • Shannon

      You are definitely retarded. Why are you on the Lakers page if you hate them? I was denouncing racists you moron! How is that bad? Btw not all Lakers fans are American you idiotic overly patriotic idiot. Go shove the America flag up your ass you illiterate fool.

  • Mark

    Kobe has a right to his opinion, but I personally think theres no point in rehashing our Shaq/Kobe era ? If thats the case, lets keep bashing Smush ??? I mean, at the end of the day, both players walked away more famous than they were before, both champions, both part of NBA history.. to revist the Shaq/Kobe era, as a Lakers fan with anything less than fond memories, is just plain dumb

  • PretorianIX

    Shaq seemed more interested in being a circus clown than a winner, Kobe ain’t lying