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NBA Rumors: Shaquille O'Neal Had Secret Code With Lakers Teammates To Stop Passing Kobe Bryant The Ball

(via New York Post)

(via New York Post)

The drift between Shaq and Kobe has come under some especially bright light lately. After a back-and-forth between the stars on social media, one former player even came out and said it was Kobe's fault the Lakers lost in the 2004 Finals.

The latest story to come out regarding the subject apparently involves Shaq and a "secret code" he used to keep the ball out of Kobe's hands. Here are the details, per CBS Sports:

"Shaq told me a story. We had a kid named Gordon Giricek on our Suns team, he had gotten there, and Gordon would go in the game, and Gordon was about his buckets. So Gordon would get in, and no matter what we were doing, no matter what the flow or the chemistry was, Gordon would be just, you know, shooting the ball. Gordon was my guy, I played with him in Utah. "

"But Shaq started saying 'hey guys, this is the symbol' (twitches thumbs downward) 'when I give you this, Gordon doesn't get the ball anymore.' And I'm like 'dude what is the background on that, where'd you come up with that?' And he was like 'when Kobe was young, he would be going in and just trying to get 'em, so the rest of us had a universal kind of code that if we looked at each other and went (gives signal) then that meant Kobe didn't get the ball anymore.'"

It's no secret that Bryant likes to shoot the ball. Even as a young rookie in the league, Bryant wasn't shy about letting it fly when he had the rock in his hands.

Clearly, it was at a detriment to his team at times.

Even still, his resume is one few others could ever hope to match as 5x NBA Champion, 18x All-Star, and 2x Finals MVP.

So did the ends justify the means, or did Kobe take his approach too far? You be the judge.