Kobe vs. Shaq: Is Kobe’s Resentment of Shaq Due to Regret?

After the Los Angeles Lakers won their third NBA championship in a row under Phil Jackson in 2002, former Lakers great Magic Johnson said that he could see the combination of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal winning at least six more titles during their time in Los Angeles.

However, in 2002, the Magic could not have predicted the series of events that would eventually lead to the dismantling of one of the more dominant teams in NBA history, as well as a feud between Kobe and Shaq that still resonates today.

The reasons for the divorce between Kobe and Shaq vary, and through the years there has been plenty of finger pointing and verbal assaults from all parties involved. But one thing is very clear, there are still hard feelings on both sides, even though both Kobe and Shaq found individual success after their professional relationship ended.

Shaq earned his fourth career title in 2006 with Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat, while Bryant added three more trips to the Finals, two Finals' MVPs and two NBA titles to his own resume.

But would Magic's estimate of nine combined Lakers titles for the Lakers be accurate if Bryant and Shaq would have been able to put aside their petty differences?

This thought seems to weigh heavily on Bryant's mind at times, and his recent criticism of Shaq goes far beyond the usual "Kobe-how-my-ass-taste?" fare that has marked their verbal confrontations in the past.

 During a Nike promotional stop in Italy, Bryant said he was still annoyed by Shaq's infamous 30-minute workouts and his refusal to take physical conditioning seriously.

O'Neal responded by repeating his familiar refrain that he doesn't need to work out because his record speaks for itself, but Kobe's remarks about Shaq seemed more like a statement of regret, rather than an attack.

Kobe's drive to improve his game often led to seven-hour workouts, and he could never ...

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