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O’Neal: I Definitely Did Not Want to Leave Lakers

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Updated 1 year ago on

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At the time, (Shaquille) O’Neal felt he was not getting the contractual respect the Lakers had afforded (Kobe) Bryant. “It was just two alpha males, the business aspect kicked in, and you know, I was getting older,” O’Neal says on the podcast. “So, you know, management was like ‘Hey, we know you’re getting older and we know you want this, but we want to give you that.’ And in my mind, I was like, ‘I’m not getting older. I don’t want that. I don’t want that,’ and they just wanted to move in a different direction.” For his part, Bryant says on the podcast the parting was practically inevitable. The result was the deal that sent Lamar Odom, Brian Grant and Caron Butler and a first-round pick to the Lakers, with O’Neal two summers later reveling in the HEAT’s title. To this day, O’Neal insists he did not force the trade, even though his 2004 bluster indicated otherwise. “I definitely did not want to leave L.A.,” he says on the podcast.

Source: Ira Winderman of the Miami Sun-Sentinel 

 

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