Shaquille O’Neal And The Lakers Used A Secret Code To Stop Passing The Ball To Kobe Bryant, Raja Bell Claims
I pray to a higher power that we will be able to roast marshmallows over the embers of the Kobe/Shaq feud for decades to come.
Kobe threw some gas on the smothered feud this week when he claimed he “would’ve had f**king 12 rings” if Shaq wasn’t lazy and had a better work ethic when they played together for the Los Angeles Lakers. This is far from a new sentiment, as Kobe has consistently gone on the record saying “It used to drive me crazy that he was so lazy.”
Shaq didn’t waste time in firing back, saying: “U woulda had 12 if you passed the ball more especially in the Finals against the Pistons #facts,” wrote Shaq. “You don’t get statues by not working hard.”
Insert *spins wheel* Raja Bell?!
Raja Bell, who admitted to ‘genuinely hating’ Kobe during his playing days and even served a one-game suspension for clotheslining Mamba in a first-round playoff matchup in 2006, revealed on the Kanell and Bell podcast this week that Shaq once told him the Lakers had a system to stop giving Kobe the ball.
Bell and O’Neal played together on the Phoenix Suns during the 2008 season, which is when O’Neal taught the team a hand signal to keep the ball out of the hands of Gordon Giriček, a teammate who Shaq once put in a chokehold until he was unconscious.
Shaq had allegedly first implemented that system during his eight year tenure with the Lakers to keep the ball away from Kobe.
Via CBS Sports:
“Shaq started saying ‘hey guys, this is the symbol’ (twitches thumbs downward) ‘when I give you this, Gordon doesn’t get the ball anymore.’ And I’m like ‘dude what is the background on that, where’d you come up with that?’ And he was like ‘when Kobe was young, he would be going in and just trying to get ’em, so the rest of us had a universal kind of code that if we looked at each other and went (gives signal) then that meant Kobe didn’t get the ball anymore.’”
I can’t help but be reminded of this Christmas day shot when Kobe tried to get a buzzer beater up against 29 Bulls defenders.
I need Kobe to respond to Raja’s claim before I get back from getting more s’more stuff. Keep that fire burnin’!
[h/t For The Win]