Shaq balled for the Lakers, no doubt about it. He and Kobe both definitely handled their entire situation like assholes. (In retrospect though? I’m glad that it did go down that way, because the Lakers, if you think about it, basically traded Shaquille O’Neal for Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, which now… looks pretty good).
The problem is, Shaq is just one of the fakest guys in the league. He’s friendly with the media, so they never kill him. He has this larger-than-life image, but really, Shaq is–quite frankly—an asshole.
Don’t get it twisted—Shaq relished in the Lakers struggles after he left. RELISHED in them. After he got his 4th ring (and thus thinking his blood feud was settled), he did his whole, “OH THE KOBE AND ME THING WAS JUST HYPE YOU KNOW, WE COOL NOW” shtick. Then when Kobe and the Lakers flamed out against the Celtics in the 2008 Finals? Shaq appears on YouTube, taunting Kobe and asking him how his backside tastes.
Think about that for a second, though. I wanted to lynch myself after the 2008 Finals–and then there’s Shaq–gleefully taunting the Lakers and relishing in their misery.
Then Kobe and the Lakers came back with two straight titles. It culminated with Kobe, soaked to the bone in champaign, eloquently reminding the world that he had one more title than Shaq.
Shaq then said he “competes with big guys and not tiny guards.” And that’s Shaq in a nutshell, compete with somebody until they beat him, and then change the parameters of the competition to begin with. Really, Shaq? You never competed with Kobe? How stupid do you think we are?
Kobe at least keeps it real and lets the chips fall where they do. Shaq is nothing more than one of the most contrived personas in the game.
Shaq always said he would never become a journeyman who chased rings. Well, I have some bad news for Shaq: that’s exactly what he is now.
Next: The Final Straw – Joining the Celtics