Former NBA player Isaiah Rider gave fans more insight on the infamous Shaq-Kobe feud.
Shaquille O’Neal and the late Kobe Bryant won three consecutive NBA championships while playing together for the Los Angeles Lakers from 1996 to 2004. The duo’s relationship off the court, however, was infamously tense.
In an interview on the podcast “All the Smoke,” Rider shared a memory highlighting just how deep the rift was between the two stars.
Before signing with the Lakers as a free agent in 2000, former Portland Trail Blazers player Rider was notoriously known for an incident in which he allegedly spat at an employee and smashed a cellphone after missing his team’s flight.
Attempting to use that knowledge to his advantage, Rider said, Shaq approached him with an offer.
“When I first get to the Lakers, Shaq tells me, if you and Kobe get into it, it’s 10 G’s in the locker,” Rider said. “This is 3 days into practice.”
Rider added that he couldn’t believe that Shaq just had $10,000 in single dollar bills, and instead, chose to do what was best for him. “I’m like, ‘Man, these boys are crazy, bro,’” Rider said. “But this is my thing: I would’ve been off that team so fast if I laid a hand on that man.”
Shaq and Kobe later patched up their relationship and became close friends after they both retired from basketball.
O’Neal spoke at Kobe’s A Celebration of Life at the Staples Center in February after Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, died in a helicopter crash, along with seven others in January.