Basketball fans have taken note of the on-again, off-again connection between former basketball stars Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, and it was ramped up again on social media. In a recent interview in Las Vegas, the Black Mamba stated that if Shaq was in the gym like he was, the duo would have had “f*cking 12 rings.”
Naturally, this reads as if Kobe was hating on Shaq but it’s actually more nuanced than that. During the chat at the PHP Agency Convention in Las Vegas, Bryant essentially stated that if O’Neal were as committed to being in optimal physical health, the duo could have amassed a dynasty to end all with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I wish he was in the gym,” Bryant said. “I would’ve had 12 f*cking rings.”
What has gone missing in some reaction to the words is Bryant flat out saying O’Neal was better than him.
“He’d be the greatest of all time,” Bryant said of the Hall of Fame big man. “He’d be the first to tell you that.”
While Shaq did respond to the quip by saying, “U woulda had twelve if u passed the ball more especially in the finals against the pistons #Facts,” adding in another response that, “You don’t get statues by not working hard.”
Although this tofu beef seemed to be simmering, Kobe shut it all down with a tweet.
And not only that, Shaq’s having a laugh about it too while NBA Twitter loses their sugar, honey, and iced tea.
Peep the reactions on Twitter below.
Kobe Bryant Says There’s No Beef With Shaquille O’Neal Over “12 Rings” Comment was originally published on hiphopwired.com
Shaq and Kobe in the year 2050. pic.twitter.com/NdZUPRxFaK— Justin Tinsley (@JustinTinsley) August 28, 2019
Shaq & Kobe already had this conversation. why is this even a story? pic.twitter.com/VCXE9X4lLA— tone (@toneVAAVE) August 28, 2019
Yup. It’s like people forgot you both said this to each others faces in that sitdown interview (which was 🔥). I just the miss the good ol’ days when this stuff would go on and then you and Shaq would single-handily destroy the NBA together. We need to invent a time machine, Kob! https://t.co/rkCqMNGmNL— Chris Manning 🐍 (@LD2K) August 28, 2019
a shaq/kobe discussion in 2019. it's definitely august.— Darius Soriano (@forumbluegold) August 28, 2019
Kobe: Man imagine what could've been if Shaq worked hard— America is musty 2021 (@DragonflyJonez) August 28, 2019
Shaq: Ok fuck these hypotheticals what about that time in real life when you cost us a ring in 04
That's my type of carrying on
Shaq & Kobe friendship is so raw & authentic ®️— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) August 28, 2019
Just a reminder that Shaq literally used to dunk on entire teams. pic.twitter.com/uo2dHUG72h— Yoni (@OriginalYoni) August 28, 2019
Shaq has literally admitted to being lazy in the offseason, but then gets mad when Kobe says it? I don't get it.— Jacob (AKA Rusty Buckets) (@RustyBUCKETS321) August 28, 2019
Argue Kobe vs Shaq all you want.— J (@JrepsLA) August 28, 2019
Fact remains the same.
The Los Angeles Lakers are the last team to three-peat. pic.twitter.com/S1Zb6Gprul