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Shaquille O'Neal -vs- Kobe Bryant

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Shaquille O'Neal -vs- Kobe Bryant

Who's better, Shaquille O'Neal or Kobe Bryant ?

Shaquille O'Neal
Kobe Bryant
  Current Results

Kobe, Shaq trade barbs on eve of Lakers' opener

October 28, 2003

The simmering rivalry between Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal has boiled over again on the eve of the new NBA season.

With O'Neal insisting the Lakers are "my team" and advising Bryant to play for the team or "opt out" of his contract, the war of words has increased the likelihood that Bryant will end his eight-year association with the Lakers after this season.

O'Neal's comments at the end of last week -- that Bryant should look to pass more while he recovers his physical conditioning -- drew an icy response.

"I'm not changing my game whatsoever," Bryant was quoted as saying in the Los Angeles Times on Monday. "I take good shots, hit the open man when he's there. I definitely don't need advice on how to play my game.

"I know how to play my guard spot. He can worry about the low post. I'll worry about mine."

O'Neal countered: "He's right -- he doesn't need advice on how to play his position. But he needs advice on how to play team ball. As we start this new season, (stuff's) got to be done right.

"If you don't like it, then you can opt out next year