Which Lakers teammate did Shaquille O’Neal try to bribe with $10000 to fight Kobe Bryant?

The duo of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant will be remembered in the history of the NBA for years to come. The pair formed one of the greatest dynasties, something that is yet to be seen under the Phil Jackson-led Lakers.

Despite their on-court achievements, a time came when the pair couldn’t see eye-to-eye. At one point, Shaq even tried to give some cash to a fellow teammate to engage Kobe in a fight, despite the bond they once shared while playing for the same franchise.

Shaq offered $10,000 to Isaiah Rider to fight Kobe

During their stint as teammates with the Los Angeles Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal and the late Kobe Bryant experienced notable tension. They played together on the Lakers from 1996 to 2004, securing three consecutive NBA championships. However, their off-court relationship was strained.

Isaiah Rider recently shared a revealing story on the “All The Smoke” podcast hosted by Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes, shedding light on the intensity of the feud between the two Lakers stars.

Which Lakers player did Shaquille O'Neal try to pay with $10000 to fight Kobe Bryant? Amid best duo feud.
Shaquille O’Neal Via Getty

According to Rider, Shaq offered him $10,000 (in one-dollar bills) to engage in a confrontation with Kobe during practice. When Rider joined the Lakers in 2001, O’Neal approached him, stating he had $10,000 in cash and would give it to him if he fought Bryant during a team practice. This proposal came merely three days into Rider’s tenure with the Lakers.

Although O’Neal and Bryant eventually reconciled after retiring from basketball, Rider’s report revealed the severity of the discord between the Lakers’ dynamic duo. Bryant, along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, tragically lost their lives in a helicopter crash. O’Neal, who spoke at Bryant’s public memorial service at the Staples Center in February, was one of the figures commemorating the basketball legend.

Shaquille O’Neal expressed regret over his famous feud with Kobe Bryant

Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, once part of the Lakers’ formidable duo, had a notorious feud during their time together. Despite contributing to three consecutive championships for the Lakers from 2000 to ’02, their on-court success was marred by off-court tensions. The animosity reached its peak in 2004, leading to O’Neal’s trade to the Miami Heat after he publicly requested it.

Which Lakers player did Shaquille O'Neal try to pay with $10000 to fight Kobe Bryant? Amid best duo feud.
Shaquille O’Neal Via Getty

“You put off [getting in touch],” O’Neal told People magazine. “I’ll never get to see Kobe again, in real life, forever. And I just should have called. He should have called. We both should have called. But he’s working, I’m working, so it’s ‘I’ll see you when I see you.’”

Their careers flourished post-split, but O’Neal harbors regrets about allowing the feud to persist. The Lakers’ coach, Phil Jackson, described the rift as “juvenile,” marking the downfall of the Kobe and Shaq era, which was one of the strongest duos in the NBA. Over the years, the two attempted to reconcile, with O’Neal envisioning a reconnection in their later years.

O’Neal expressed his remorse, acknowledging that certain trivial issues hindered them from prioritizing their relationship. The envisioned reunion at the Lakers’ 50th anniversary was overshadowed by the profound loss of the icon, leaving O’Neal reflecting on the significance of their bond beyond petty disagreements.

Shariare Hasib

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Shariare Hasib is an NBA Editor at SportsKnot. With a master's degree in journalism from a prestigious university, Shariare started writing about the sport during his undergraduate years. Since then, he has been fascinated by LeBron James' lasting impact as well as Stephen Curry's incredible consistency. He specializes in live basketball coverage. Apart from reporting on trade speculations and match updates during off-season activities, Shariare frequently interacts with fan communities to stay abreast of the constantly evolving NBA scene.


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