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Shaq and Kobe Hug It Out Prior to Lakers-Warriors Game (Video)
To understand why it was so amusing to see Shaq and Kobe hug it out prior to last night’s Lakers-Warriors game you have to go all the way back to 1996. That was the year the Lakers signed Shaquille O’Neal as a free agent and drafted an 18-year-old Kobe Bryant straight out of high school. And it was the year the Kobe-Shaq feud began.
Kobe was just a kid who had literally accomplished nothing, but acted like he was a five-time NBA MVP. Shaq was a 26-year-old who had earned his status as NBA superstar. Each thought he was the Lakers’ best player, and their personalities could not have been more different—Shaq goofy and outgoing, Kobe aloof and brooding.
Of course, despite their differences, Shaq and Kobe eventually won three straight championships with the Lakers. But in the end that only intensified their feud, since O’Neal was named Finals MVP all three times.
Eventually Shaq left L.A via free agency and the Lakers made Kobe the face of the franchise. But the Big Aristotle kept sniping Kobe from afar, whether in one of his raps or, eventually, from behind the desk at NBA on TNT.
So you get the picture. Shaq and Kobe don’t always get along—which is why it was fun to see them hug like bros last night at the Staples Center:
I wonder what trash talk they whispered in each others ear?
Hat Tip – [@BenGolliver]