Los Angeles Lakers hero Kobe Bryant and former star Shaquille O’Neal have clearly patched up their differences after the pair embraced in a courtside bear-hug, but it didn't help the Lakers performance who have had a torrid start to the season.
On Sunday the two superstars of basketball, who have openly had a spat in the past, gave each other a friendly hug both before and after the Lakers fell to a 21 point defeat to Golden State Warriors in front of their home fans.
In truth the Warriors completely dominated and crushed their opponents 136-115 in their own backyard. The 2010 champions have had an abysmal start to the season, going 1-9 ahead of tonight’s clash with Atlanta Hawks.
Despite the defeat Bryant seemed upbeat with O’Neal even though the pair have history. O’Neal, who retired from basketball at the end of the 2010-11 season at Boston, left the Lakers a decade ago under a storm.
‘Shaq’ had demanded a massive pay rise from the Lakers but due to salary caps the Los Angeles team refused. Bryant, then 26, won three NBA championships alongside O’Neal between 2000-2002. The shooting guard publicly criticised his teammate, claiming he was too greedy and didn't work enough for the team.
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In 2004, O’Neal switched to the Miami Heat and looked unlikely to ever repair his relationship with the West Coast franchise.
But as the wise phrase states; 'time heals all wounds' and the 7ft 1in giant is back in the fold at the Lakers.