Basketball never stops, even if it’s in print. Retired NBA star Shaquille O’Neal is releasing a new book on November 15 entitled Shaq Uncut: My Story. One section sure to get plenty of attention is his detailed account of his feud with former teammate Kobe Bryant. Deadspin.com got hold of several excerpts and in the part below O’Neal explains how the rift between he and Kobe became unmanageable.
So I’m on edge because I don’t have a new deal, and Kobe is on edge because he might be going to jail, so we’re taking it out on each other. Just before the start of the ’03-’04 season the coaching staff called us in and said, “No more public sparring or you’ll get fined.” … Phil was tired of it. Karl Malone and Gary Payton were sick of it. … So what happens? Immediately after that Kobe runs right out to Jim Gray and does this interview where he lets me have it. He said I was fat and out of shape. He said I was milking my toe injury for more time off, and the injury wasn’t even that serious. (Yeah, right. It only ended my damn career.) He said I was “lobbying for a contract extension when we have two Hall of Famers playing pretty much for free.” I’m sitting there watching this interview and I’m gonna explode. Hours earlier we had just promised our coach we’d stop. It was a truce broken. I let the guys know, “I’m going to kill him.”
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