It’s no secret that Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant had a love-hate relationship during their time as teammates with the Los Angeles Lakers in the early 2000s.
O’Neal and Bryant won three NBA championships together and were viewed as one of the best duos in NBA history. However, the two feuded as two alpha males who could not see eye to eye during their youth.
Things got so bad between O’Neal and Bryant that O’Neal reportedly offered to pay a teammate $10,000 to beat up Bryant.
On the “All The Smoke” podcast hosted by former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, former Lakers player Isiah Rider shared an unknown story about O’Neal and Bryant’s feud.
“When I first get to the Lakers, Shaq tells me, ‘If you and Kobe get into it, it’s 10 Gs in the locker,'” Rider revealed. “This is three days into practice…I’m like, ‘Man, come on, you playing, man.’ ‘There’s 10 Gs in $1 bills, if you ever get into it and you handle your business, grab that.’ … I couldn’t believe it. I’m like, ‘Man, these boys are crazy, bro.'”
At the time, Rider was known as one of the bad boys of the NBA who would talk trash and fight if things became heated. However, Rider knew that Bryant was untouchable because of his legendary status in the league.
“But this is my thing,” Rider clarified. “I would’ve been off that team so fast if I laid a hand on that man [Bryant].”
O’Neal and Bryant would become closer after their playing days were over. In fact, O’Neal’s son, Shareef O’Neal, was the last person to receive a text from Bryant before his untimely passing in January.