Robert Horry: Phil Jackson created the Kobe-Shaq feud
During his visit to Russia to attend the student league All-Star game, 7-time NBA champion Robert Horry was interviewed by Sports.ru.
Here’s the most interesting part I think (Please keep in mind that this is English-to-Russian-to-English translation)
Was it possible to avoid the Kobe and Shaq split?
I think Phil Jackson started that feud. It happened many times that after team practice he would say, “Kobe said this about Shaq, and Shaq said that about Kobe… We couldn’t believe how could that happen, because just the day before we saw them together, jumping on one another. Phil liked it when there was conflict of some sort.
I always tell people; if you look at those championships, you’ll see who were the closest players on the team. Normally those are the guys who are the first to hug each other. And when we were winning, it was always Shaq and Kobe who hugged. I think this will answer your question. Later it was blown out of proportion by the media and both players started doing something that didn’t make sense.
Well, does it sound like a crazy thing? To ruin the chemistry of your team on purpose. Though I used to read about theater directors who would do exactly this – create tension within their troupe so that the actors don’t stall emotionally and sparks would fly on stage. With Zen Master you never know.
One other bit from the interview:
Who is the best player that you ever played with?
I would say Hakeem Olajuwon and Kobe Bryant. The things The Dream could do on the floor were phenomenal for a big man. And the dedication that I saw in Kobe, I didn’t see in anywhere else. And I think that he’s not given enough credit for this: he has spent a lot of time and energy to become what he is now. I don’t want to offend anybody, but those two stay above everybody else.