Kobe Bryant wishes he handed let Shaq feud play out in public

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Kobe Bryant has become a one-man tour-de-force at the Los Angeles Lakers over the past 19 years, but at one point early in his career he was vying with Shaquille O'Neal for the limelight.

The duo's fractious relationship is well-documented and, although they managed to achieve success together in the form of three NBA championships, ultimately the clash of egos led to Shaq's departure from the franchise.

Big regret

Now, speaking in a soon to be released podcast that sees the pair openly discussed just what went wrong over a decade ago, Bryant has admitted that one of his biggest regrets was how the feud played out in the public sphere.


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"Here's the thing though," explained Kobe per Yahoo Sports. "When you say it at the time you actually mean it and then when you get older you have more perspective and you're like holy-sh*t, I was an idiot when I was a kid."

"To me, the most important thing was really just keep your mouth shut. You don't need to go to the press with stuff."

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"You keep it internal and we have our arguments and disagreements, but I think having our debates within the press was something I wish would've been avoided."

Under pressure

With Kobe a different animal to most young players arriving in the league it was clear at the time that his personality clashed with Shaq, a man who had already been there and done it in the NBA.

Fortunately for the Lakers the pair managed to put off-court differences aside for a brief period but ultimately the pressure meant a split was inevitable: 

"It did kind of create this whirlwind around us as a team with myself and Shaq and the press and the media that just put so much pressure on us as an organization."

They say time is a great heeler though, and judging by Bryant's shared regrets this week it looks like the pair have put ill-feeling behind them. When you have won three rings together that sort of thing is probably easier.

Lakers fans: Did the team make the right decision to get rid of Shaq back in 2004? Have your say in the comments below...

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