Dwyane Wade Recalls Shaquille O’Neal Returning to Lakers’ Court First Time After Alleged Kobe Bryant Beef: “He Was Running Down Saying I Built This Place”

Published 12/24/2021, 1:15 PM EST
LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 16: Shaquille O’Neal is seen at ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ on July 16, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)


Many regard Shaquille O’Neal as one of the greatest players in NBA history. He has been credited with revolutionizing the role of a center in the NBA. Moreover, he won four championships in his career with two different franchises. However, with all these championships, came a lot of controversies. Shaq’s feud with Kobe Bryant became one of the highlighted events during the early 2000s.

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Shaq and Kobe played alongside for eight seasons at Los Angeles Lakers. They were part of the record-breaking Lakers team that won the three-peat in the early 2000s. Despite being one of the best duos in the NBA at that time, they didn’t get along off the court. Their feud was further escalated because of personal differences and arguments over their roles in the franchise.

Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach Phil Jackson (L) celebrates with players Kobe Bryant (R) and Shaquille O’Neal (C) after game four of the NBA Finals against the New Jersey Nets at Continental Airlines Arena 12 June 2002 in East Rutherford, NJ. The Lakers won their third consecutive title by a score of 113-107 to sweep the best-of-seven series 4-0. Jackson has now won nine NBA Championships as a head coach. AFP PHOTO/Jeff HAYNES (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

However, their relations got better slowly as Shaq went to Miami. Shaq didn’t receive a warm welcome on the Lakers’ court when he came back as a rival for the first time after leaving. Dwyane Wade recently revealed how Shaq reacted to the atmosphere after his alleged feud with Kobe.

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WATCH THIS STORY: NBA Stars That Shaquille O’Neal Has Taken Jabs at Donovan Mitchell, James Harden & Others

Dwyane Wade reveals how Shaquille O’Neal reacted to the atmosphere at the Lakers court

Former Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade recently appeared for an interview on ‘Jalen Rose: Renaissance Man Podcast‘ on the podcast. During the podcast, Wade was asked about his favorite memory of playing on Christmas Day.

 

To this, Wade replied, “My favorite Christmas moment is tough because I’ve played against Kobe, like 5 times on Christmas. I guess, my favorite one will have to be the first one when Shaq and we went back to LA for the Christmas game.”

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“I remember he be running down ‘I built this place’. That was my favorite one.”

Shaq and Kobe’s relationship improved later, after his departure from LA. They even became close before Kobe’s tragic accident last year. Kobe used to be in frequent contact with Shaq’s son. In fact, Shareef, Shaq’s son, revealed that Kobe had texted him just hours before his tragic accident.

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Kobe was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2021 and Shaq was present at the ceremony. He mentioned that despite the arguments over the years; they used to respect each other. And that’s all that matters.

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Abhishek Singh

442 articles

Abhishek is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports with over two years of journalistic experience with Chase Your Sport and Dribl. A Football Management graduate, he has previously interned in the Indian Super League, I-League and the AFC Champions League. In addition to being a Michael Jordan fan, Abhishek is an ardent Steph Curry and Warriors guy, and believes they have a few more championships in store before the former retires.

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