“I f***ing went crazy in my house”: Shaquille O’Neal’s candid admission of ring chasing to match Kobe Bryant

Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant are two names intertwined in the NBA cosmos so intimately that one cannot be named without the slightest mention of the other. The Lakers got their hands on two of the most dominant figures in NBA history in the same summer of 1996. Soon after, the glories followed their paths creating an unrivalled era for the Los Angeles-based franchise.

From being sworn enemies, coming to blows on multiple occasions earlier in their career to being one of the tightly forged bonds in the game’s history, their friendship drove Shaq towards depression after Kobe’s untimely demise. But that was not always the case as the two icons competed with the other teams just as much as they competed with one another, giving way to absorbing tales that Shaq later on disclosed.

Shaq’s drive to match Kobe’s success

There is a persistent argument about how good Shaq and Kobe were without complementing each other. In an episode of “The Big Podcast,” the 1992 draft pick no.1 revealed how he was ring chasing in his later years.

Shaq moved to Miami to Heat in 2004 and won another ring in 2006. After Kobe won the NBA Championship in 2010, the duo’s personal ring count without each other went in favor of the Black Mamba. Shaq admitted to going crazy at his house.

“So the fact that he has two and I have one, I f***ing went crazy in my house… I admit my last three years I was traded to championship chase because if I can get five and he got five, it’s great. But the fact that he got five and I got four drives me crazy,” Shaq disclosed.

This disparity in rings only fueled Shaq to seek more glory and as a result, he hoped from Cavaliers to Celtics in his final years on the court. Shaq’s admission only highlights the ultra-competitive nature between the two greats, underlying their mutual respect.

Kobe Bryant’s cheeky taunt after winning 2010 NBA Finals

After starting their storied journey together in 1996 with the Lakers, the duo became close gradually over the years. The telepathic connection between the two paved the way for the Lakers “three peat” from 2000-2002.

Despite getting into heated arguments that turned into physical altercations due to their drive to win, the pair maintained their mutual respect throughout their careers. Kobe won his 5th and final NBA ring in 2010 cementing his Lakers legacy, but it had more implications than just that.

This win meant eclipsing Shaq by one ring and the 18-time NBA All-Star did not hesitate to poke fun at his former teammate. During the post-match press conference of the 2010 NBA Finals Kobe did not forget to mention, “Got one more than Shaq.” The win had immense significance for Kobe as it proved his superiority and fed his alpha mentality after years of rivalry with Shaq.

The 2000 NBA MVP reacted to the taunt by joining the Celtics but failed to eke out what his heart truly desired, the one NBA Championship ring that could’ve settled the score.

SZ Desk

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