In Shaq’s new book, he said a lot of crap. It maybe possibly be true, but who really knows. He explained how his relationship with Kobe went down the drain. He also talks trash about how Lebron did whatever he wanted in Cleveland, and how President Obama dissed Rondo in front of his whole team.
Let’s start with Kobe. Here is an excerpt from Shaq’s book talking about Kobe during the ’03-04 season:
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.”
Kobe stands up and goes face-to-face with me and says, “You always said you’re my big brother, you’d do anything for me, and then this Colorado thing happens and you never even called me.” I did call him. … So here we are now, and we find out he really was hurt that we didn’t stand behind him. That was something new. I didn’t think he gave a rat’s ass about us either way. “Well, I thought you’d publicly support me, at least,” Kobe said. “You’re supposed to be my friend.”
Brian Shaw chimed in with “Kobe, why would you think that? Shaq had all these parties and you never showed up for any of them. We invited you to dinner on the road and you didn’t come. Shaq invited you to his wedding and you weren’t there. Then you got married and didn’t invite any of us. And now you are in the middle of this problem, this sensitive situation, and now you want all of us to step up for you. We don’t even know you.” …
Everyone was starting to calm down when I told Kobe, “If you ever say anything like what you said to Jim Gray ever again, I will kill you.”
Kobe shrugged and said, “Whatever.”
From that day on, I was done dealing with Kobe. I was done dealing with Jim Gray, too. What goes around, comes around. When he got fired, he actually had the nerve to call me and ask me to help him out. What, did you lose Kobe’s number?
He also added:
He was so young and so immature in some ways, but I can tell you this: everything Kobe is doing now, he told me all the way back then he was going to do it. We were sitting on the bus once and he told me, “I’m going to be the number one scorer for the Lakers, I’m going to win five or six championships, and I’m going to be the best player in the game.” I was like, “Okay, whatever.” Then he looked me right in the eye and said, “I’m going to be the Will Smith of the NBA.”
My first Lakers season we had a couple of rookies, and we hazed them pretty badly. We were dogging them out constantly. It was “Go get my bags, go get me something to eat.” It was kind of a rite of passage in the NBA that a lot of teams do, but we probably went a little too far with it. One of the rookies—Derek Fisher—just took it. The other rookie—Kobe Bryant—ratted us out to Jerry West.
In Cleveland, Shaq stated that Delonte West, who was sleeping with Lebron’s mom, told him that he called out Coach Mike Brown for letting Lebron get away with a bunch of shit:
I remember one day in a film session LeBron didn’t get back on defense after a missed shot. Mike Brown didn’t say anything about it. He went to the next clip and it was Mo Williams not getting back and Mike was saying, ‘Yo Mo, we can’t have that. You’ve got to hustle a little more.
So Delonte West is sitting there and he’s seen enough and he stands up and says, ‘Hold up, now. You can’t be pussyfooting around like that. Everyone has to be accountable for what they do, not just some us.’ Mike Brown said, ‘I know, Delonte. I know.’ Mike knew Delonte was right.
I’m not sure if Kobe is going to listen to Mike Brown [who’s now the Lakers’ coach]. LeBron never really did.
Over in Celtic Nation, Shaq stated:
On the West Coast swing in January, Shaq wanted to get off against the Lakers, but he said even though he was getting good position under the basket, Glen Davis wouldn’t pass him the ball. ‘Big Baby’ Davis kept looking me off and taking it himself. Doc is shouting at him to go inside, but he won’t. So Doc calls timeout and draws up a play for me. I go out there, and I back Andrew Bynum way under the rim. I’m loose, I’m ready. I’ve got Bynum under the basket and again, Baby won’t give me the ball. So I go up to him and say, ‘If you ever miss me again I’m going to punch you in the face.’ I was hot. Two nights later we’re playing in Sacramento and here we go again. I take three shots the entire game and again I’ve got my man isolated underneath the basket, and Baby ignores me and takes a jump shot. So the next time we’re in the huddle I let Baby have it. I tell him, ‘Pass the [expletive] ball inside.’ He [comes] back at me a little bit and now I’m really heated. All hell is breaking loose. We’re going back and forth. Doc is standing there and he’s not saying a word. The message is pretty clear: work this out yourselves. I tell Baby, ‘You’re a selfish player. Everyone on this team knows it.’ Hey, all the fans knew it. He takes shots when he shouldn’t’.
He also mentioned how President Obama dissed Rondo in front of his teammates:
The president turns to Ray (Allen), points at Rondo, and says, ‘Hey, Ray, why don’t you teach this kid how to shoot?’ Everyone starts laughing,” Shaq writes. “KG told me he saw the look on Rondo’s face and the kid was devastated, embarrassed. Dissed by the president, even though I’m sure Obama didn’t mean any harm. Rondo smiled and went along with all of it, but KG told me he could see it in his eyes. It bothered Rondo. It killed him.
Now, I gotta give it up to Shaq for this. Even though he was saying all of this crap about others, he also whacks himself:
“At one time my ex-wife Shaunie and I were happy, but I admit it, I was a guy. I was a guy with too many options,” Shaq writes. “Choosing to be with some of those women, well, that’s on me. In my mind, I never did it disrespectfully, but obviously I shouldn’t have done it all.”
In the book, co-written by ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, Shaq says he’s trying to be more faithful now that he’s hooked up with steady gal Nicole “Hoopz” Alexander.
“I admit I wasn’t the best partner. I just didn’t know how. I’m learning now,” he writes.
I have to admit that all of this is damn funny and interesting as hell. Makes me want to go out and buy the damn book.