L.A. Times: Following is an excerpt from Times NBA columnist Mark Heisler’s new book, “Madmen’s Ball: The Continuing Saga of Kobe, Phil and the Los Angeles Lakers.” This excerpt takes place at Lakers’ training came before the final season with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal on the team:

As things turned out, the problems that surfaced in Honolulu were just a tune-up.

On media day, the organization set up a picket line outside the El Segundo practice facility and barred some members of the media, hoping to lessen the hysteria. Perhaps thinking he could redirect the media, like Moses parting the Red Sea, [ Phil] Jackson reminded them there were more important things, like the war in Iraq, going on. Of course, without press coverage that was disproportionate to the importance of what he did, Jackson wouldn’t be making $6 million annually. In any case, the press didn’t melt away.

Every day, Black [John Black, Lakers publicist] announced Bryant would only take basketball questions, but it was the reporters’ job to ask other questions, and Bryant often answered them. When a CBS producer asked Bryant about that day’s events in court, Black lifted her credentials on the spot. After Newsweek’s Allison Samuels wrote a tough cover piece, she couldn’t even get credentials.

Continue reading ‘Kobe vs. Shaq: A look at the start of the final chapter’

  • http://TheVerveNerve.com Billy Kupchak

    Shaq SUX! :cool:

  • Joey

    Ah, the good ol’ days.

  • xtro

    Even when Kobe and Shaq feuded, the team still managed to three-peat as NBA champions. Remarkable.


    Shaq didn’t get in shape like Kobe told’em…hence,Detroit gets the ‘chip…still hurts.

    I feel detroit may dethrone Boston anyway…and wouldn’t be fitting to see them in the finals and then see Boston next season…”revenge is a dish best served cold”,oooooooooh yeah.

  • lakerschamps09

    umm wow nice article… yea they were both wrong… shoulda shut up and played team balland shoulda gotten in shape and stop complainin..lol… i just wish we won the ship just to see wat woulda happened next… does shaq stay??? do karl and gary come back??? does phil stay??? wat bout kobe???.. we will neva know

  • 1ofMany

    Since when did Kobe and Shaq have problems? Learn something new everyday.

  • LakersFirst

    Kobe and Shaq’s egos were too big for one team. It’s a shame really because that could’ve been the fourth championship.

  • Michael_23

    I saw the title and thought this was dug up in 2004. Man still talkin about this???

  • kobe-wan kenobi

    by the way, what kobe said about shaq leadership it is true.
    kobe was right, if you wanna be the leader you have to act as one

  • David

    Regardless, they made it all the way to the nba finals. If there was lack of leadership, they would have never made it that far. The main reason we lost in the finals in 2004 was because Malone and Fisher were injured not because of shaq and kobe’s feud.

  • LakersFirst

    Despite what everyone says, even though he’s not on the team anymore and I don’t support him, Shaq was the reason for those 3 championships. Championships go through a big (unless your initials are MJ).