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Shaq threatened to kill Kobe Bryant once

Shaq Wanted to Murder Kobe


The rivalry between Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest stories of the NBA. The two teammates couldn't stand one another, despite teaming up to win three NBA Championships with the Los Angeles Lakers around the turn of the century.

But how deep did that hatred go? Pretty deep according to John Black, vice president of public relations for the Lakers during the 2003-04 season.

In a story on that 03-04 Lakers team from Bleacher Report – titled An Oral History of the 2003-2004 Los Angeles Lakers, the First Super Team – Black told a scary story about an exchange between Shaq and Kobe.

John Black: Mostly it was Shaq and Kobe didn't like each other, but it didn't affect them on the court. They would say something about the other, on or off the record, but it didn't become confrontational more than two or three times over the eight years. When Kobe gave the statement to Jim Gray where he went off calling Shaq fat and lazy, that was one of the times. There was one really bad one, early on. Brian Shaw had to pull them apart. Shaq threatened to murder Kobe.

Threatening to kill someone is never a great idea. No imagine that person is someone you're going to spend every day with, practicing, competing for championships, traveling all over the country.

Talk about uncomfortable.

And imagine how that made their teammates feel, like Gary Payton and Karl Malone who had joined this team to try and win a championship.

Malone tried to shut it all down, but to no avail.

"It came to a head the last practice before the regular season, and they sent them both home," Los Angeles Times columnist Mark Heisler said. "I think it was Karl who said, 'This is over now, trust me.' That afternoon, Kobe loaded up Jim Gray with all this stuff about Shaq coming to camp fat and out of shape and not being a leader. That's how they started the season."

How'd that go?

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Shaq threatened to kill Kobe Bryant once
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 20: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals argues with home plate umpire Marvin Hudson #51 after being thrown out of the game in the third inning against the New York Yankees at Nationals Park on May 20, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ON - MAY 22: Tonia Couch & Sarah Barrow of Great Britain compete in the Women's 10m Synchro Final during the FINA/NVC Diving World Series at the Windsor International Aquatic & Training Centre on May 22, 2015 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 22: Jake Houtby of Queensland competes on the Parallel Bars whilst Kent Pieterse of Victoria competes on the High Bar during the Australian Gymnastic Championships Mens and Womens All Round Final on May 22, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 24: Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP celebrates winning the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 24, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 24: Ana Ivanovic of Serbia plays a forehand in her Women's Singles match against Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan on day one of the 2015 French Open at Roland Garros on May 24, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - MAY 22: Tristan Thompson #13 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dunks against the Atlanta Hawks in the third quarter during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on May 22, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 25: Matt Beleskey #39 of the Anaheim Ducks celebrates with Corey Perry #10 and teammates after he scored the game winning overime goal to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center on May 25, 2015 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 25: Brandon Barnes #1 of the Colorado Rockies holds up his glove after going into the stands to catch a foul ball in the second inning of the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on May 25, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25: Winning captain Russell Martin of Norwich City celebrates with the trophy alongside team mates after the Sky Bet Championship Playoff Final between Middlesbrough and Norwich City at Wembley Stadium on May 25, 2015 in London, England. Norwich City seal promotion to the Premier League with a 2-0 victory (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 24: Tory Dickson of the Bulldogs and Heritier Lumumba of the Demons compete for a mark during the round eight AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and the Western Bulldogs at Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 24, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 24: Jeff Teague #0 of the Atlanta Hawks shoots against Matthew Dellavedova #8 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the fourth quarter during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 24, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 24: Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates after scoring a goal against Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers during the second period in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 24, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 24: Frank Lampard of Manchester City is thrown into the air by his team mates after the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad Stadium on May 24, 2015 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
FRENCH LICK, IN - MAY 23: Colin Montgomerie of Scotland hits his tee shot on the second hole during the third round of the 2015 Senior PGA Championship Presented By KitchenAid at the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort on May 23, 2015 in French Lick, Indiana. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/PGA of America via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 22: Brett Gardner #11 of the New York Yankees walks back to the dugout between innings against the Texas Rangers during their game at Yankee Stadium on May 22, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Juventus' goalkeeper and captain Gianluigi Buffon celebrates with the Italian League's trophy during a ceremony following the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs Napoli on May 23, 2015 at the Juventus stadium in Turin. Juventus won the Coppa Italia on May 20, 2015 and the Italian League today after their 3-1 victory over Napoli. AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
BATH, ENGLAND - MAY 23: Tommy Bell of Leicester is tackled by Semesa Rokoduguni of Bath during the Aviva Premiership Semi Final match between Bath Rugby and Leicester Tigers at Recreation Ground on May 23, 2015 in Bath, England. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 23: Brett Gardner #11 of the New York Yankees steals second as Adam Rosales #9 of the Texas Rangers defends in the first inning on May 23, 2015 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 24: Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP drives during the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 24, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
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