Kobe Bryant’s simple 6-word tweet to Shaquille O’Neal after winning his fifth NBA title is one of the most iconic moments in sports history. But what does it mean?
Kobe Bryant used a simple 6-word sentence to savagely troll Shaquille O’Neal after winning his 5th NBA title. The sentence was when did shaq retire?
If you were a basketball fan in the early 2000s, you were undoubtedly aware of the Los Angeles Lakers’ rivalry between Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. Even if you weren’t a fan at the time or were too young to remember, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the majority of the facts since the Kobe-Shaq connection has been well-documented for years.
While it seems that they sorted out their disagreements over time, the two stars never missed an opportunity to trash talk each other. Bryant, in fact, made a point of seizing a certain moment after winning his fifth NBA title.
On the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal were unstoppable.
On March 6, 2002, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers speaks with teammate Shaquille O’Neal before a game against the Utah Jazz. | AFP/George Frey/Getty Images
When he joined with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996, O’Neal was already one of the greatest big players in the NBA. In his debut season in Los Angeles, he averaged 26.9 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks.
In the same year, a young guard called Kobe Bryant made his debut in the NBA. He only averaged 7.6 points as a rookie, but by his second season, he was an All-Star.
In their first three years together, the two of them guided LA to the playoffs in each of their first three seasons together, including a trip to the Western Conference Finals in 1997-98. The Lakers, on the other hand, were one of the top teams in the league in 1999-2000. They went 67-15 that season and won the NBA championship, kicking off a three-year era of supremacy between 1999-2000 and 2001-02. In 2003-04, the squad reached the finals once again.
During the same period, nearly every sports section in the country had a story about Bryant and O’Neal’s relationship in the headlines. Their stated grievances could easily fill a whole book, therefore we won’t go into detail about them in this article due to the lengthy history of their feud.
The Lakers ultimately moved O’Neal to the Miami Heat in 2004, and fans have been debating the true cause for O’Neal’s departure ever since. However, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss said on All The Smoke earlier this year that it “was simply a money issue.”
Whatever the cause, Bryant and O’Neal were on their own and had to rely on other players to win championships.
After winning his sixth NBA championship, Kobe Bryant viciously mocked Shaquille O’Neal.
With the Heat, O’Neal enjoyed instant success. He joined up with a teenage Dwyane Wade and won an NBA championship in his second season with the club, giving him his fourth title – one more than Bryant.
At 2008, Bryant led the Lakers back to the finals, but they were defeated by the Boston Celtics, prompting O’Neal to take shots at him while rapping in a bar.
According to ESPN, he replied, “You know how I am.” “Kobe couldn’t function without me last week.”
Bryant, on the other hand, had the final laugh.
After winning the 2009 NBA Finals, he matched O’Neal for most championships before earning his fifth and final crown in 2010.
Bryant trolled O’Neal with a simple six-word statement after earning his fifth ring by defeating the Celtics in seven games: “Just got one more than Shaq.”
He just required six words to make fun of his old comrade, who had only four championships to his name. “So, you can take it to the bank….” he said. You know what I’m like; you guys know what I’m like. According to Bleacher Report, “I don’t forget anything.”
O’Neal and Bryant both finished their careers as NBA superstars, regardless of how many titles they won. With time, the relationship was healed.
Shaq and Kobe have a mutual admiration for one other.
With time, Kobe and Shaq seemed to be able to put their disagreements aside. When they could, they fired bullets at each other, but it seemed to be all in good fun.
After a little squabble in which Bryant claimed that if O’Neal had worked as hard as he did, he would have won “12 rings,” Mamba wrote, “There is no issue with [Shaq].” I know the majority of the media wants to see it, but that’s not going to happen. According to Sports Illustrated, “There’s nothing but love there, and we’re too old to beef anyhow #3peat.”
Following Bryant’s death in 2020, O’Neal stated the same thing on All The Smoke.
“As basketball players, you know how it is; we don’t always get along. But you can never be defeated if you have respect,” he remarked in April 2021. “You’re all familiar with him: he was an alpha. I was an alpha, as you all know. We didn’t always agree on everything, but I believe that the fact that we constantly fought against one other on the court made us even more unstoppable.”
The Shaquille O’Neal-Kobe Bryant partnership was one of the most exciting in NBA history. Their competition, on the other hand, was just as lucrative.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
RELATED: Kobe Bryant Celebrated a Lakers Playoff Win by Giving a Reporter One of His ’17 or 18′ Beers He Didn’t Buy
- how many rings does kobe have