As with all the people filled with joy, cleverness and humor in the world, like even myself, there is always a dark side within that we all hide by being outgoing in a positive manner. The Big Diesel, Shaquille O'Neal, is no exception to that common perception of human characteristics. Filled with troubles from his public past as the most popular basketball player in the world, Shaq decided to make an autobiography, Shaq Uncut: My Story, written with noted Around the Horn personage Jackie MacMullan, to give some insight to his infamous feud with Kobe Bryant.
So I'm on edge because I don't have a new deal, and Kobe is on edge because he might be going to jail, so we're taking it out on each other. Just before the start of the '03-'04 season the coaching staff called us in and said, "No more public sparring or you'll get fined." ... Phil was tired of it. Karl Malone and Gary Payton were sick of it. ... So what happens? Immediately after that Kobe runs right out to Jim Gray and does this interview where he lets me have it. He said I was fat and out of shape. He said I was milking my toe injury for more time off, and the injury wasn't even that serious. (Yeah, right. It only ended my damn career.) He said I was "lobbying for a contract extension when we have two Hall of Famers playing pretty much for free." I'm sitting there watching this interview and I'm gonna explode. Hours earlier we had just promised our coach we'd stop. It was a truce broken. I let the guys know, "I'm going to kill him."
Kobe stands up and goes face-to-face with me and says, "You always said you're my big brother, you'd do anything for me, and then this Colorado thing happens and you never even called me." I did call him. ... So here we are now, and we find out he really was hurt that we didn't stand behind him. That was something new. I didn't think he gave a rat's ass about us either way. "Well, I thought you'd publicly support me, at least," Kobe said. "You're supposed to be my friend."
Brian Shaw chimed in with "Kobe, why would you think that? Shaq had all these parties and you never showed up for any of them. We invited you to dinner on the road and you didn't come. Shaq invited you to his wedding and you weren't there. Then you got married and didn't invite any of us. And now you are in the middle of this problem, this sensitive situation, and now you want all of us to step up for you. We don't even know you." ...
Everyone was starting to calm down when I told Kobe, "If you ever say anything like what you said to Jim Gray ever again, I will kill you."
Kobe shrugged and said, "Whatever."The excerpt of the Kobe feud is brilliantly done, but it won't make the book a big seller. Mainly because in the book, like all autobiographies, Shaq appears to be set to market mostly on the Kobe feud, but the book also has topics like Shaq's verbal spat with Pat Riley, fondness of Halle Berry and ponders about his retirement tidbits on the side.
From that day on, I was done dealing with Kobe. I was done dealing with Jim Gray, too. What goes around, comes around. When he got fired, he actually had the nerve to call me and ask me to help him out. What, did you lose Kobe's number? [Deadspin]
It is hard to presume what type of details Shaq will add into his autobiography that can be risque without tarnishing his family friendly persona.
Let me remind you of a Miami Herald column that showed what type of person Shaq had become by the end of his career with the Miami Heat.
We all have a dark side. I like to think it is so it can helps us appreciate the bright side even more.
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