Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant had a very complex relationship during their time together with the Los Angeles Lakers. However, they were very successful on the court, winning three straight championships from 2000 through 2002, creating one of the best duos the NBA has ever seen.
Although things didn't end the best way for them, they worked it out and became friends until Kobe's tragic death last season. On Saturday night, the Big Diesel remembered his relationship with the Black Mamba, comparing it to his relationship with Charles Barkley.
O'Neal said that he and Kobe argued all the time, but there was nothing but respect between them, just like Chuck (11:30).
“When we do talk about issues, you have three intelligent people and Charles that gives their point of view. The thing that we love about each other is that we can have a different opinion and respect each other. Me and Charles go at it all the time, like I don’t have an older brother, I’m the oldest, but if I did have an older brother, I would want him to be Charles Barkley.”
“Same thing with me and Kobe, we argued all the time, but we respected each other. That’s why we were able to win three out of four championships. It’s all about respect.”
Shaq, Barkley and Ernie Johnson were part of the NBA Hall of Fame 2021 induction night, where they talked about their chemistry on TNT's "Inside the NBA" and more. O'Neal saw his chance to talk about Kobe and their back-and-forth relationship.
Fortunately, they made amends before Kobe left this world but none of that makes things easier. It's still hard to live in a world where Kobe isn't anymore and that happens to many people.
We will always have those stories about him and the things he did on the court. You will always be missed, Kobe. Thanks for everything you did as a player, as a man and as a father.