Lakers proprietor Jeanie Buss sheds mild on Shaq commerce, says Kobe Bryant to not blame
Shaquille O’Neal was traded to the Warmth earlier than the 2004-05 season, ending his run in Los Angeles alongside Kobe Bryant and breaking apart probably the most dominant duos in Affiliation historical past.
Whereas many pointed to Bryant’s rising dissatisfaction with Shaq as a teammate, Lakers proprietor Jeanie Buss says that Bryant should not bear the blame for breaking apart the 2 sides.
Talking on the “All of the Smoke” podcast with Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes, Buss defined that cash was in the end the decider in shifting the All-NBA middle.
“Shaq was in a contract 12 months. … Due to the best way the collective bargaining settlement was structured, there have been some gamers that had been grandfathered in within the new settlement, that you just had been in a position to pay them greater than the present gamers, so Shaq was a kind of grandfathered gamers,” Buss mentioned.
“He needed an amount of cash that was authorized beneath the CBA nevertheless it wasn’t what my dad needed to pay him. And so, it got here to the purpose the place the choice was made to commerce Shaq. And lots of people wish to put that blame on Kobe. It wasn’t. It was purely a cash scenario.”
Buss mentioned that the 2 sides had been far, far aside on contract extension talks on the time.
After contract negotiations between each side fell by, O’Neal was traded to the Warmth, the place he would play two dominant seasons, successful the 2006 NBA Finals alongside Dwayne Wade, earlier than coming into the twilight of his profession in a commerce to Phoenix in 2007. He would signal a five-year, $100 million pact with the Warmth upon arrival.
Bryant and the Lakers would not win one other championship till 2009, the primary of two alongside Pau Gasol.
Shaq and Kobe would preserve a well-documented icy relationship all through their profession, however would make amends afterward, with each side sharing a mutual respect for each other.
Oh, what might have been.