“He’s the one BUYING love” – Shaquille O’Neal destroyed Kobe Bryant for trying to throw him under the bus by calling out $4 million gift to girlfriend Vanessa after rape allegations

The Kobe-Shaq feud: A tumultuous era in Lakers history.


“He’s the one BUYING love” – Shaquille O’Neal destroyed Kobe Bryant for trying to throw him under the bus by calling out $4 million gift to girlfriend Vanessa after rape allegations

Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal and Vanessa Bryant (Via Getty and Variety)

The 2004 scandals rocked the NBA world and changed the dynamics of the Los Angeles Lakers. According to the L.A. Times, Kobe Bryant, the top shooting guard of the Lakers, was arrested for sexual assault, and he said something shocking to investigating policemen.

The discovery therefore caused a wave within and outside the world of basketball. However, when it comes to the Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal was the biggest guy who had a tough relationship with Bryant, an issue that was very well-known then. This was made worse by the allegation against Bryant.

ADVERTISEMENT

During the investigation, Bryant told the police officer:

I should have done what Shaq does, that Shaq would pay his women not to say anything.

Shaq responded by stating:

I never go out with Kobe and that I have never hung around him. Hence, how can this guy say he knows something about me or my business? This is funny, I am not the one who buys himself love!

For some time now, the quarrel and rivalry that existed between Kobe and Shaq was ready to bubble over. These three years saw their on-court chemistry bring Lakers three straight titles of an NBA championship, but at the same time, the duo would not see eye to eye both individually as well professionally.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O’Neal saga: The Lakers’ fall from grace, missed opportunities, and the end of a dominant duo

From that moment, the Lakers with Kobe and Shaq fell apart in the course of the season from 2003 up to 2004. The championship eluded them for their stumbling during the final where Detroit Pistons stood firm for them.

kobe and shaq

It was the ultimate disappointment that denied the Lakers a chance to make history for the 4th time. Moreover, this coupled with all of the off-court drama sealed the doom for the dominant duo.

Afterwards, the two also commented on their relationship in the subsequent years, reminiscing on the rivalry and those they could have achieved together. The Kobe-Shaq dispute shall go down in NBA annals as one of the most unforgettable chapters. It was the story of a genius, ego conflict, and the complications with star collaborations. While their time together was marred by controversy, it also produced some of the most memorable moments in basketball history.

ADVERTISEMENT

In case you missed:

Was this article helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!