Kobe Bryant Blamed for 2004 NBA Finals Loss By Anonymous Teammate


Of course, the Lakers were favored in that series but the team simply couldn't get it going and Kobe Bryant struggled at times to get shots off.

O'Neal and Bryant led the Lakers to three consecutive National Basketball Association championships between 2000 and 2002.

Earlier this week, Kobe Bryant claimed that the Los Angeles Lakers would have won 12 championships during his tenure if Shaquille O'Neal had his work ethic.

That issue was brought up again when Bryant, speaking in an on-stage interview with Patrick Bet-David for Valuetainment, said, "I wish he [Shaq] was in the gym [training during his stint with the Lakers], I would have [expletive] twelve rings".

In fact, said Bryant, "He'd be the greatest of all time". This guy was a force like I have never seen. Man, this dude was... he did not care.

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The latest broadside came from Kobe, who declared that if Shaq had possessed Kobe's work ethic, Shaq would be "the greatest of all time". He was mean, he was nasty, he was competitive, he was vindictive. Together, Bryant and O'Neal won three straight titles from 2000 to 2002, and reached another NBA Finals in 2004. "I would've had (expletive) 12 rings".

The line got a big laugh from the crowd, but O'Neal didn't seem to find it too amusing after stumbling upon the clip on Instagram earlier this week.

Bryant tweeted Wednesday that their old feud remains in the past and there's "nothin but love" between him and his former Los Angeles Lakers teammate.

O'Neal unsurprisingly took Bryant's slight personally, responding on Instagram by saying, "You woulda had 12 if you passed the ball more - especially in The Finals against the (Detroit) Pistons".

He added: "You don't get statues by not working hard".