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Shaquille O'Neal On How Phil Jackson United Him And Kobe Bryant: "I Can't Be Ready If This Guy's Shooting All The Shots"
2024/04/24

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Phil Jackson was fortunate enough to get to coach some of the greatest players in NBA history but his job was not an easy one by any means.

During his first stint with the , Jackson had to find a way to manage  and , who were at odds with each other. In an interview with Patrick Bet-David, Shaq explained just how Jackson managed to unite them.

Patrick Bet-David: "Did Phil ever bring you guys in and say, you guys have big egos but I've got a bigger ego than you? Did he ever do anything like that or not?"

Shaquille O'Neal: "No, he never said anything. Because he didn't want to tame us. You got one guy averaging 30, 32. You got another guy averaging 29. You got two guys chasing each other. He didn't want to tame us. They're on the same team."

Patrick Bet-David: "When you and Kobe did the interview, Kobe said Phil would go on interviews and make comments to get under our skins and it would piss us off and we would fight each other and then eventually we would unite.

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Was that pretty common with Phil? Was that his style?"

Shaquille O'Neal: "All the time. He would mess with me and I would mess with Kobe."

Patrick Bet-David: "So, what was one way he messed with you? What is Phil's style of messing with you?"

Shaquille O'Neal: "He would just say something like, 'You're not ready.' And I'm like, 'I can't be ready if this guy's shooting all the shots.' So he would say something to me and I'd throw it right back.

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