It's been four years since the Lakers' mini-dynasty of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal came to an end, after the big fella forced requested a trade that sent him to the Miami Heat. Somehow though, the feud/non-feud between the two superstars seems to keep coming up. That's because Shaq keeps bringing it up.
In a recent interview with ESPN, Shaq had some interesting comments on his time in L.A., saying in part that he probably should have mixed it up even more with Kobe. You know, for the good of the team.
"I was fun the whole time. All that hoopla, being part of that little sitcom,'' O'Neal said. ``One day I just sat there and thought about it. You know how Phil does the psychological thing, and he never jumped in? Why Magic (Johnson) never jumped in? I think it was all done by design, and it actually worked.
"If I had to do it all over again, I would probably bring it up more, I would probably start more fights with him (Kobe Bryant). I was putting up great numbers, he was putting up great numbers, it made him all pissed off and he's one of those (guys) where when he gets pissed off, he can go on and score 80 points.
"I think we were the greatest one-two punch in the game, greatest little man, big man punch in the game. Period.''
So this really isn't Shaq trying to stir up an old controversy; in fact I think it's kind of the opposite. At this point in his career, Shaq realizes what he had during his time with the Lakers, playing alongside another Hall of Fame player and on a team run by a Hall of Fame coach. Does Shaq regret how things ended in Los Angeles? With an ego roughly the same size as his 7'2" frame, it's unlikely that we'd ever hear him admit to it. But Shaq has clearly matured since his Laker days, and nearing the end of a fantastic career, you can safely assume that he's thought about it more than once.