Shaquille O’Neal reveals ex-Lakers HC Phil Jackson’s unique approach to managing his and Kobe Bryant’s egos

Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant’s love-hate relationship was a fascinating aspect of the Los Angeles Lakers dynasty in the early 2000s. Despite winning three championships together, the two superstars often bumped heads, with their head coach Phil Jackson left with the responsibility of managing them. In a recent interview with Patrick Bet-David, Shaq opened up about how Jackson handled both him and Kobe.

Jackson’s approach to managing O’Neal and Bryant was unique. Rather than trying to tame their egos, he let them be themselves. Shaq revealed, “He didn’t want to tame us. You got one guy averaging 30, 32. You got another guy averaging 29. You got two guys chasing each other. He didn’t want to tame us. They’re on the same team.”

However, Jackson didn’t shy away from calling them out publicly when needed. Instead of taming both O’Neal and Bryant behind the scenes, Jackson resorted to the media when he wanted to passive-aggressively call out his superstars. This led to both players following suit, as Shaq explained, “He would mess with me, and I would mess with Kobe.”

One of O’Neal’s biggest frustrations with Kobe was his tendency to hog the basketball, and in the rare times that he was approached by Jackson regarding his issues with Bryant, the big Diesel was open about his feelings. This, in part, contributed to their eventual separation.

Despite their rocky relationship, O’Neal and Bryant spearheaded a dynasty that will forever be remembered in NBA history. They eventually made up and admitted that their time together helped them grow as individuals on and off the basketball court.

As Shaq stated, “Genius work,” in reference to Jackson’s management style. His approach of letting his superstars be themselves instead of taming them proved to be effective, even if it involved calling them out publicly at times. The Lakers’ dynasty under Jackson’s leadership was a testament to his ability to manage two strong-willed individuals and turn them into champions.

The Zen Master and the Big Diesel: How Phil Jackson and Shaquille O’Neal Led the Lakers to Championship Success

Before Phil Jackson took over as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal was sent to his house in Montana to convince him to take the job. To test Shaq’s commitment, Jackson asked him to move a log. Despite his initial skepticism, O’Neal obliged and passed the test with flying colors, impressing Jackson.

Phil Jackson had a big role to play in Shaq and Kobe’s career. Phil Jackson is one of the greatest coach in the NBA. He led the bulls to 6 championships as well.

Under Jackson’s leadership, the Lakers ended their three-year playoff slump and won three consecutive championships. While Jackson has been accused of burning marijuana in the room where the team meditated, there’s no denying the positive impact he had on the Lakers during his tenure as head coach.


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