Bryant and O’Neal discuss their relationship on O’Neal’s The Big Podcast with Shaq. O’Neal and Bryant were teammates on the Lakers from 1996 to 2004, winning titles in 2000, 2001, and 2002. However, a constant feud between the two led to O’Neal’s eventual departure from the team in 2004. O’Neal:
It’s time to clear the air, because I’ve said many times that we were the most enigmatic, controversial, most talked-about, dominant one-two punch. I just want people to know that I don’t hate you, I know you don’t hate me. I called it today a ‘work beef,’ is what we had.
Here’s the thing — what we did, our disagreements, what made those things special is we said them to each other’s face. We didn’t go behind each other’s back and whisper to our teammates about this, that and the other, because that does nothing but create friction and it’s cancerous to the team.