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Marc 02-02-2009 10:54 PM

Shaq: 'I always did love Kobe'

Shaq: 'I always did love Kobe'

Shaquille O'Neal, the newly minted All-Star for the Western Conference, has claimed Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson as new allies, saying the longtime rivalry between himself and the Lakers forward was simply a marketing gimmick.

"We helped you hype it up," the Suns center said late Thursday night in an interview with ESPN's Stephen A. Smith. "I know what I'm doing, brother. I'm the smartest player in the world."

O'Neal and Bryant have shared an off-the-court history of bickering through the media that was fueled during O'Neal's last season with the Lakers in 2004, when the duo jockeyed for position as the franchise's next cornerstone.

O'Neal said Thursday the feud with Bryant was nothing more than fodder for driving revenue.

"I always did love Kobe," O'Neal said. "It was all marketing."

Do you buy this? I don't. I think there was plenty of tension between the two; two superstars couldn't co-exist and both wanted the spotlight. What clearly has happened is time has healed the wounds and Shaq's playing it off. But there was too much smoke for there to have been no fire...

Marc 02-04-2009 08:31 PM

No opinions on this? It was the biggest soap opera in the NBA a few years back, now Shaq is denying it.

Master 02-11-2009 12:50 AM

kind of pathetic; an obvious lie.
Shaq's over the hill and Kobe's on top of the hill now.
But Shaq still likes the limelight.

tobynosker 02-11-2009 10:52 AM

This almost feels like Behind the Music: Shaquille O'Neal, where the aging superstar is trying to cling to anything that will make him relevant again. Of course, ESPN is right there to offer assistance when needed.

The lame feud between the two was one of the most ridiculous feuds in sports, and the fact that it is still talked about to this day is a reflection on how much the NBA has truly fallen off of most sports fans' radars.

buckeyefan78 02-12-2009 09:14 PM

Shaq is positioning himself for a trade or even a huge one-year deal after the end of next season. Nothing more.

And the world still revolves around the bigs who hang the banners...

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