Lakers guard Kobe Bryant didn't want to get in the middle of the flap… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)
The never-ending feud between Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal when they teamed together always entailed the two sniping at each other. Shaq accused Bryant of being a ball hog, while Bryant criticized O'Neal's work ethic. On and on it went.
So Bryant has a unique perspective on O'Neal's continuous digs at Dwight Howard, the latest being that Philadelphia's Andrew Bynum and Brooklyn's Brook Lopez are better than the Lakers' new superstar. But those days of Bryant responding to O'Neal's barbs are over. And after L.A.'s 110-83 preseason loss Sunday to the Golden State Warriors in Fresno, Bryant expressed indifference over the latest back-and-forth between the two Supermen.
"I really don't have a take," Bryant said on O'Neal's criticisms and Howard's reaction to the TNT commentator's claims. "[Shaq] gets paid to make opinions so I can't tell him to shut up. That's his job. That's what he does. My primary concern is the big fella here now in Dwight. I think he's going to do just fine with his legacy for the Lakers."
Bryant was diplomatic and patient in his response. But his mood quickly turned sarcastic when asked if Howard will become the best Lakers center since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Knowing that could cause many to interpret an affirmative response as a dig toward O'Neal, Bryant simply said, "That's a silly question."
Bryant then returned to his good mood and answered basketball-related questions, involving Steve Nash's passing and the team's chemistry in training camp. With the Lakers assembling a talented roster that could propel him toward a sixth championship, Bryant clearly would rather spend time gushing about that than worrying about O'Neal.