Stephen A. Smith Says Shaq Stopped “Hardcore Cats” In L.A. From Harming Kobe Bryant in 2004 (Video)
The Shaq / Kobe beef would have been epic if Facebook & Twitter was as popular as it is today. Shaq and Kobe HATED each other during the last few years of their time together in Los Angeles. Both older and wiser now, they can look back on it and laugh.
Fast forward 12 years and two Lakers teammates are at odds once again. Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell committed a guy-code violation by filming teammate Nick Young saying that he cheated on his rapper fiance’ & somehow it got leaked to the internet.
This violation brought back memories of when Kobe told detectives that Shaq gave ‘hush money’ to women to keep them from talking about his extramarital affairs.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith talks about what happened afterwards when Shaq found out about Kobe snitching:
I’m gonna tell you something right now. You know me. I love me some Kobe Bryant. He’s a good brother, and he’s a good man. He had his issues in the past in terms of his personality. The brother is good people. I love him. But I will always love my brother Shaq. And I’m gonna tell you something. I’m going to tell a story right here on national television, and the cats in L.A. know that I know this.
There was a time when Shaq got traded—you got to remember, he’s not just Shaquille O’Neal, he’s Shaqa Claus, he’s all these different things—and you know how L.A. is. We’re talking about some hardcore cats that want to get at you sometimes. And when Shaq got traded, there were people in Los Angeles that were incredibly devastated at him being gone and wanted to do something to Kobe. Who stepped in? Shaq. ‘Don’t you dare. He’s good people. Stuff happens. This is all part of basketball, and I’m gonna still be here doing everything that I do for the communities, et cetera.’
So even in his moment of disdain for Kobe for being traded to Miami and all this other stuff, he still made sure that everybody understood Kobe Bryant is better than what you give him credit for. ‘Kobe Bryant’s alright, we just got some differences right now. It’s going to all be alright.’ A lesser, more immature, less decent person and player could have sat up there and said, ‘Do what you want to do.’ But Shaq stepped in and stopped it. ‘I am not asking you, I am telling you.’ I know cats in the streets, and I know what was said. I’m not saying they would have done anything, I’m saying that they may have tried. It was Shaquille O’Neal that put a stop to all of that.
He has always, in his own way, watched a whole bunch of dudes’ backs in the NBA. Dudes that find themselves in precarious situations, can get themselves hurt, can get things happen to them because they think they’re more street than they really are. They think they’re rougher than they really are. It’s Shaquille O’Neal, as one of the few individuals in the league with the clout, the cache, the stature to put a stop to that. And he has done so on many occasions for a lot of guys you would never believe need that kind of help.
Kobe is a special brother, and what he has elevated to is an unbelievable story and I love him dearly. But Shaquille O’Neal is one of a kind. You have no idea what he has done for so many people. You’d love him ten times more than you already do if you realized how much he has come to guys’ aids who found themselves letting their mouths get them into trouble, and Shaquille O’Neal has come to the rescue. I’m telling you.