Originally Posted by Ne 1
You're both wrong. Kobe did not run Shaq out of town. That's an unsubstantiated rumor and it's been proven to be false. Jerry Buss said that the they would do anything to resign Kobe, and that bruised Shaq's ego.
Shaq was 32 years old, going into his 13th year in the league, he showed up to training camp overweight and out of shape and he demanded a max contract extension and he cursed out and publicly called out Jerry Buss during an exhibition game. After the Lakers lost to the Pistons in the Finals, Shaq publicly demanded to be traded because Buss wasn't going to give him maximum money. The Lakers decided to deal him. Kobe actually had already decided to sign with the Clippers, but Buss made a last-ditch effort to Bryant because he knew how disasterous it would be from a public relations standpoint for the Lakers to lose both of their star players in one offseason. Bryant has admitted he talked to Jerry West and West advised him to stay with the Lakers. Buss and Kupchak convinced him they'd rebuild the franchise and bring in top talent. So, he re-signed with the Lakers.
Saying Kobe ran Shaq out of L.A. is the easy scenario that people like to latch on to, but it's pretty far from the actual truth.
They blame Kobe for Buss choosing him over Shaq but it was no brainer, you have to go with the younger one . I remember Elgin Baylor, then Clippers GM, said about how Kobe gonna sign with them and Clippers have a pretty good young nucleus during those days. Buss knew Kobe was a goner if Shaq stayed. Not only they did hardly care for each other, Kobe was itching to be Alpha Male which he will never be if Shaq was around.