The on-again off-again friendship and beef between Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal has been well documented. For God's sake, the Kobe-Shaq feud has its own Wikipedia page! The two started off on civil terms when they first met in 1996 but things started to dissolve once Kobe's ego grew as much as Shaq's waistline.
They've gone through name-calling off the court, freeze-outs on the court and even one reported physical confrontation (Shaq slapped Kobe during a pickup game). Even after the split up the acrimony remained including Shaq's infamous freestyle when he rapped, "Kobe, tell me how my a$$ tastes."
In recent years any issues between the two appear to have resolved as they are usually complimentary of each other. Shaq appeared at Kobe's last game in 2016 and Kobe returned the favor a year later when the Lakers unveiled a Shaq statue outside of the Staples Center.
But a recent change in the NBA's All-Star Game may have caused the claws to come back out. In the 2018 All-Star Game, captains get to hand pick their All-Star teammates unlike in previous years when it was East vs. West. Bryant was asked if that format was in place when he played and he was captain if he would draft his frenemy, Shaq:
"What year are we talking Shaq? ... The Miami Heat first year (2005)? No, I'll take LeBron James," Bryant said. "You kidding me? If I had the opportunity [to draft Shaq at all], yeah I would. But LB man."
Kobe and LeBron never played on the same All-Star team due to them being in different conferences, and the only time they were ever teammates was on Team USA. But the main story is that Kobe took another shot at Shaq and said he'd rather play with a 20-year-old LeBron rather than the person he won three NBA titles with.
We're sure word of this selection will make it back to The Diesel and we eagerly anticipate a response from Shaq on Thursday's Inside The NBA.