Kobe: Nothing new to rivalry with Shaq
NEW YORK (AP) — Kobe Bryant downplayed talk of a reignited feud with Shaquille O’Neal, saying there is “nothing new” that has been said recently between the former teammates.
Bryant had recently said that if O’Neal had worked harder, they could have won 12 rings together with the Los Angeles Lakers. O’Neal fired back on social media that they could have won more if Bryant had passed him the ball more often.
But Bryant said Thursday during a visit to the U.S. Open tennis tournament that the comments don’t mean they are fighting again.
“I think people are making it like we’re going back and forth about it, but there’s nothing to go back and forth about,” Bryant said. “There’s nothing that has been said that hasn’t been said before. It’s nothing new.”
They did win three titles together from 2000-02, but their fractured relationship led the Lakers to trade O’Neal to the Miami Heat in 2004. He won a title there, and Bryant later won two more with the Lakers.
They patched up their relationship later in their careers.