As Kobe Bryant continues his Nike promotional tour and flirtation with taking his talents to Italy, he also continues to further explain his issues with former teammate Shaquille O'Neal. According to out friends at sportando.net, they posted a quote from a radio that Kobe did, describing his disdain for Shaq's practice habits (or lack thereof):
During the interview in Radio, Bryant also spoke about his 'enemy' Shaquille O'Neal. "I like players who workout. I use to do that 6/7 hours per day. I cannot stand players who practice for 30 minutes. I need to say something to them".
Funny for Kobe to say this, since just last January it was reported that his knee was in such horrible condition that he couldn't practice with the Lakers at all.
When you say he doesn't practice, you mean no scrimmaging. What does he do?
"Defensive dead drills, and what we call a walk through [in] the pregame practice. A lot of times, when the team is just doing conditioning drills, which are redundant for him to have to do when he’s on the court, maybe shooting or whatever, doing stuff on the court that’s getting his skills. So it’s not like he’s not there.”
Do the other players have a problem with it?
“We talk about it as a team. I’m sure the adjustment to having Kobe on the floor with them is a major adjustment. I think having him out there at practice makes it better for our team, but once they play with him a few games again then they adjust to the fact that he’s a guy he’s going to break off some of the offense, he’s going to chase the ball once in a while, he’s going to shortchange some of the things we do to get the ball [moving], and that itself breaks the rhythm a little bit. Players adjust to it, and they’re fine."
It seemed to be a problem with his teammates but I don't recall this issue being brought up much when the Dallas Mavericks gloriously jettisoned them from the 2011 playoffs in four game sweep that was nothing short of a masterpiece. Nice try Kobe, but if you're going to hate on Shaq (and there is plenty of this to go around in several NBA cities) for not practicing, be ready to look at yourself in the mirror. Look, guys get hurt and I actually think if the knee was that bad then it was smart to only play in games to give your team any semblance of making a deep run in the playoffs. Maybe Shaq thought the same thing?