For a brief moment, it appeared that we were headed towards Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal getting into it with one another again. The two shared quite possibly the most intense intra-personal rivalry in all of sports during the 2000s, but in recent years, the two have smoothed over whatever beef popped up and have been cool with one another.
A recent Kobe interview, though, looked to throw things out of whack. Bryant was asked about Shaq’s work ethic, namely if the big man would have been better if he had Kobe’s famous mean streak. While he was extremely complimentary of just how dominant O’Neal was, Bryant said yes. It led to Shaq getting a little peeved, but Kobe made it a point to hop onto Twitter and make it clear there are no tensions between the two.
Shaq did not immediately respond, but when he eventually did, he did not disappoint. The big man replied to Bryant and said that everything is cool, in part because when he saw what Kobe had to say, he thought he was referencing Shaq’s longtime punching bag, “Dwite” Howard.
Kobe took a moment to reply, but when he did, kept things pretty simple.
Now that Howard is back in Los Angeles, it makes sense that Shaq would think Kobe would be asked a question about him. That, of course, assumes this was an honest misunderstanding and not just O’Neal seeing this as an opportunity to get a joke off at Dwight’s expense, which, well, no one would be surprised at all if that’s what happened.