Recently a spout between former Lakers greats Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant threw Howard at the center of a much-publicized “beef”, between Shaq and Kobe. Today we will look at their comments, why Howard was thrown into the fray, and how effective Howard can be in a Lakers uniform in 2019.
Kobe’s comments about Shaquille O’Neal
Speaking at a convention in Las Vegas, Bryant had this to say about his time with Shaq: “He’d be the greatest of all time, for sure…He’d be the first to tell you that. This guy was a force like I have never seen. It was crazy. A guy at that size, generally guys at that size are a little timid and they don’t want to be tall, they don’t want to be big.”
Bryant continued, “Man, this dude was, he did not care. He was mean. He was nasty. He was competitive. He was vindictive. He was … yeah, I wish he was in the gym. I would have had f—ing 12 rings.”
When O’Neal was in his prime there was no denying how much of a force he was in the paint. His weight was always an issue, and it was one of the catalysts that broke up the Lakers dynasty. The team had to decide whether to offer O’Neal a max contract even though he was out of shape heading into training camp.
The team opted to trade him to Miami and stick with the younger Bryant, who led them to two more championships.
Shaquille O’Neal’s response to Kobe
When O’Neal found out about the video he responded with a few tweets that said:
“U woulda had twelve if you passed the ball more especially in the finals against the pistons #facts” and “You don’t get statues by not working hard.”
It’s clear that Shaq and Kobe still have some thoughts on how they viewed their basketball chemistry. We fully expect Kobe to get a statue in the next couple of years as well, but it was fun to see the two go back and forth.
Squashing the beef and including Dwight Howard
After the NBA world went crazy about Shaq and Kobe starting up their beef again, both superstars chimed in. Kobe tweeted out: “There is no beef with @SHAQ I know most media want to see it but it ain’t gonna happen. Ain’t nothin but love there and we too old to beef anyway #3peat“.
O’Neal then replied: “It’s all good bro, when I saw the interview, I thought you were talking about Dwite, is that how u spell his name lol”
This was disrespectful on a number of levels. The first being that Shaq purposely spelled Dwight Howard’s name wrong, then the second was that he assumed Kobe was talking about Howard’s abysmal time with the Lakers.
Shaq has always had something against Howard. Many people think it stems from Howard trying to take his place in Orlando after O’Neal left for the Lakers. So this is just the latest diss from the big man.
Will Howard have a career resurgence in L.A.?
Playing with LeBron is different than playing with Kobe. Where Kobe demands excellence every step of the way, LeBron wants you to be able to handle the pressure in the big moments.
Howard might actually be able to fill the void DeMarcus Cousins left with his injury. The four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year could play a key role in the run to a championship, much to Shaq’s chagrin.