It happened when Bryant was asked what kind of player O’Neal would’ve been if he had his same work ethic. Bryant was known to have a borderline obsession with training hard, and he seemingly didn’t hold back his opinion on O’Neal.
“I wish he was in the gym, I would’ve had f—ing 12 rings,” said Bryant at the PHP Agency Convention in Las Vegas.
O’Neal responded and said Bryant didn’t pass the ball enough and denied that he lacked proper training during his playing days.
Howard’s name surfaced when Bryant let everyone know that he and O’Neal were fine with each other. “There is no beef with @SHAQ,” Bryant tweeted on Thursday. “I know most media want to see it but it ain’t gonna happen.”
“It’s all good bro, when I saw the interview I thought you were talking about Dwite, is that how u spell his name lol,” O’Neal shot back, misspelling Howard’s first name.
O’Neal and Howard, who both started their careers with the Orlando Magic and then played for the Lakers, have seemed to dislike each other for years. In 2012, for example, O’Neal said Howard wasn’t among the top centers in the NBA.
Howard later responded and said “I don’t care what Shaq says. Shaq played the game. He’s done. He’s gone. It’s time to move on.”
Both men have called themselves Superman as well, and it’s been said their beef started over the moniker. “He’s mad about Superman,” Howard once stated.
Now, fast-forward to O’Neal’s recent dig at the Atlanta native during his back-and-forth with Bryant, and Howard said he doesn’t care about it.
“It’s OK, I’m not here to talk about Shaq,” said Howard Wednesday on Instagram Live. “What he said, what he did, is irrelevant to what I’m trying to do. So don’t talk to me about what anybody else said about me. My focus is on one thing.”
Some were impressed with Howard’s response and let it be known on Twitter.
“He’s just showing maturity,” one person wrote. “No more goofy dwight. He’s locked in, focused on one goal which is to help the Lakers win their 17th banner next season!”
“Shaq has been disrespecting Dwight for no reason for over a decade now. It’s kind of sad,” wrote someone else.
O’Neal hasn’t responded to Howard yet.