A few minutes before, when everyone was celebrating in the Lakers locker
room, Kobe let everyone know how much he enjoyed passing Shaq in the
ring department. He did it loudly. Boisterously. Euphorically. With a
few expletives. I've heard this story a few different ways, but in each
version, Kobe sounded a little like Tupac lighting everyone up at the
end of "Hit 'Em Up." But "everyone" was Shaq. You know, a little revenge
for the "Tell Me How My Ass Taste" rap. And that's fine. I love this
stuff. It warms my heart to know that, in an era in which the league's
best players would rather join forces than beat one another, two of the
best 12 players of all time still despise each other…
And I don't think Shaq liked it. At all. Remember, Shaq could have gone
to Greece or Italy, pocketed crazy money ($8 million to $10 million
easy, tax-free), gained as much weight as he wanted, traveled Europe,
dunked on a bunch of inferior opponents, become America's most beloved
basketball export and expanded his brand to another part of the world. I
can't imagine his business manager or agent advising him any
My theory: I think Kobe's postgame routine got back to Shaq. I think it
pissed him off. I think it got his competitive juices flowing for the
first time in years. I think he realized Boston was his best chance to
tie Kobe at five. I think he wants this more than anything. I think he
shows up next month in surprisingly good shape, and I think we'll be
saying in November, "Wow, that Shaq signing may have been a great move
by Boston!" And I think this will happen for only one reason: because
Shaq hates Kobe and Kobe hates Shaq. Just a theory.
Bulls-eye. Simmons is right on the money.
Scroll to the 3:30 mark of the video clip. Shaq probably uses the audio as the ring tone for his cell phone alarm clock. He'll hear that every morning at 5am as he wakes for a four hour workout climbing Big Bear mountain with a tire strapped to his back.
As Celtics fans, we can only hope that Simmons is correct.
On Page 2, a look at Shaq's new fiancee?
That's Nicole "Hoopz" Alexander. Reality show junkies may know her as the Season 1 winner on "Flavor of Love" and contestant on "I Love Money."
According to Sports by Brooks, Shaq proposed earlier this week.
File this under: potential distraction.