Kobe Bryant Reminisces on Fist Fight He Had With Shaquille O’Neal

Robert Marvi
2 Min Read

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal may have been teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers a long time ago, but their memories – both good and bad – are still fresh in the minds of longtime fans.

Recently, Bryant sat down with Patrick Bet-David, the founder of Valuetainment, and he opened up about his relationship with O’Neal.

Bet-David asked Bryant if he would’ve feuded less often with O’Neal if the legendary center had a greater work ethic, and Bryant said yes. The Lower Merion, Pa. standout said that he’s always been the type to call out others if he senses weakness or laziness in them.

Bryant then mentioned a fist fight he had with O’Neal.

“I knew for sure Rick Fox, my teammates, they all thought I was absolutely crazy the day me and Shaq got in a fist fight. After that they were like, ‘OK Kobe you’re certifiable.’ I’m not backing down. Listen, you gonna whoop my a– or [I’m gonna whoop yours].”

But he feels that confrontation may have actually helped his partnership with O’Neal.

“There’s a level of respect, for Shaq too,” said Bryant. “I know he’s told me that that day was a big turning point for him because it was like, he’s generally used to talking trash and saying what he wants and nobody’s really stepping up and challenging him on that. And when he saw me challenge him on that, he was like, ‘This kid is crazy, alright, I can win with that.’ So that was the beginning of our relationship I think.”

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif., and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA fan since he was a little kid in the mid '90s and fell in love with the Nick Van Exel-led Lakers teams. He truly cherishes the Kobe Bryant-era of Lakers basketball and the five world championships that came with it, and is looking forward to the team's next NBA title.