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TripleDipping
09-30-2004, 04:06 PM
For your reading pleasure/displeasure.
A drama queen, a liar, a rapist, and now a ratty bitch... he's trying to be a jack of all trades.

Shaq: Kobe's hush money allegations 'ridiculous'

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - Separating Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal on different teams on different coasts has done nothing to lessen the animosity between the one-time Los Angeles Laker teammates. If anything, the feud is escalating.

On Wednesday, O'Neal dismissed as "ridiculous" Bryant's allegations that O'Neal had paid up to $1 million in hush money to various women and then took his own shot by saying, "I'm not the one buying love."

O'Neal made the remark over the telephone to a staffer at ESPN, the network said, after the Los Angeles Times quoted a police report as saying Bryant told detectives in Eagle, Colo., "he should have done what Shaq does ... that Shaq would pay his women not to say anything" and already had paid up to $1 million "for situations like this."

The statement came near the end of a lengthy interrogation about a hotel employee's complaint that Bryant had raped her.

The Times said it was unclear precisely what Bryant meant by his remarks.

Prosecutors dropped criminal charges against Bryant earlier this month at the accuser's request, but the woman has filed a federal civil suit against him in Denver, seeking unspecified damages for pain and suffering since the case began.

O'Neal was informed of Bryant's allegation last September, and the relationship between the two was cool throughout the 2003-04 season. O'Neal was subsequently traded to the Miami Heat.

"This whole situation is ridiculous," O'Neal told ESPN. "I never hang out with Kobe, I never hung around him. In the seven or eight years we were together, we were never together. So how this guy can think he knows anything about me or my business is funny. And one last thing - I'm not the one buying love. He's the one buying love."

O'Neal's latter comment was an apparent reference to a ring - reportedly costing several million dollars - that Bryant gave his wife, Vanessa, after he was charged with felony sexual assault last summer.

There have been no published reports of O'Neal ever being accused of any sex crimes. He was charged with misdemeanor battery in Orange County, Fla., in 1998 after a 23-year-old Walt Disney World employee claimed he grabbed her neck, but the case was dismissed in 2000.

MavsFanFinley
10-01-2004, 10:51 AM
Shaq: Kobe a 'clown' and 'weirdo'

By Chris Perkins
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 01, 2004

MIAMI On this hot, spectacularly sunny day it was best to just let Heat center Shaquille O'Neal flow.

Did he ever.

In his first one-on-one interviews with South Florida media, the Miami Heat center unloaded on former Los Angeles Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant. This was mostly in response to a media report that Bryant, after being arrested in Eagle, Colo., on a sexual-assault charge that later was dropped, told police that O'Neal had paid women as much as $1 million to keep quiet about adulterous affairs.

"He (messed) up in Colorado doing what he did, and what's the first name that comes out of his mouth? My name," O'Neal said Thursday. "That should tell you I'm important to this cat.

"A lot of people ask me, 'What do you think about him?' This dude's a clown. He's a... clown. You're out there (messing) up and you're saying, 'He did it.' He did what? You don't even know me. I promise you we never hung out. We were never in any clubs together. He never did nothing with the team. I don't even know this kid. But I knew he was a weirdo."O'Neal said Bryant's recent troubles revealed the man behind the image.

"There's fairy-tale life and there's real life," O'Neal said. "He just showed his colors in real life."

O'Neal, who often refers to himself as Diesel, at one time considered himself a mentor to Bryant, who entered the NBA directly from high school.

"But he's a... child.... Just like I told (ESPN), he's the only one buying love right now, the (stuff) he has to do to get out of a jam. Diesel don't do that."

O'Neal, in describing Bryant "buying love," was referring to the $4 million diamond ring Bryant bought for his wife after being charged with sexual assault.

In the wide-ranging interview Thursday, O'Neal also repeated his previous complaints about his former team, saying the Lakers used "unfair practices" and that he was made into a "scapegoat" for the team's failures.

O'Neal initially addressed lighter topics during the media session at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Miami's Brickell Key. He also referred to himself as "the Halle Berry of the NBA everybody wants me."

The 7-1, 335-pound O'Neal was chatty, volunteering long-winded answers to questions about his new physique (he's dropped 20 pounds in two months), his new teammates and his old teammates.

What became most obvious is O'Neal has taken a liking to Dwyane Wade, the Heat's dynamic second-year guard.

"The mistakes I made with my other two pupils, Penny (Hardaway) and the other cat (Bryant), I won't make those mistakes here," O'Neal said.

The rant against Bryant was a 180-degree turn from the rest of the 20-minute interview.

Before that started O'Neal had to get out of the swimming pool at the hotel. He also had to get out of his Heat uniform, which he was wearing in the pool during a photo shoot for Sports Illustrated.

Once away from the pool and inside the hotel O'Neal couldn't immediately locate a place to change clothes so he ducked into a corner, had people surround him, and changed right there.

Wet uniform off, dry clothes on.

"It's OK," said a grinning hotel employee standing with his back to O'Neal, shielding him.

Riding in the elevator that overlooks the pool, a middle-aged woman asked why all the photo equipment was there.

"For my sexy photo shoot," O'Neal said with a devilish grin.

"Oh, your sexy photo shoot," the woman replied with a smile, seemingly unaware O'Neal is a celebrity.

Now more comfortable, O'Neal hit a range of topics but clearly the ones that got him going most were Wade and Bryant, and not necessarily in that order.

When the Heat visits the Lakers in Los Angeles on Christmas Day it'll be the biggest NBA regular-season game of the year, and the O'Neal-Bryant feud will be a big reason.

O'Neal, however, said Christmas for him will be about delivering toys to kids in poor Los Angeles neighborhoods, something he's done for years.

"I understand what you're going to be talking about," O'Neal said, "but I don't have to worry about him and he doesn't have to worry about me. He's got to worry about D. Wade and those guys. I don't have to worry about him coming up my way.

"But you know marketing and media-wise that's what they're going to do and that's what they should do. Make it the highest-rated game. But this game is not going to make to break me. It's not going to make or break me. I'm going to go through the 'hood and kids that don't have a daddy, or daddy is away, I'm going to get them a Nintendo or get them some shoes, and I'm straight for that day. Nothing else matters."

EricaLubarsky
10-01-2004, 01:36 PM
they need to have a reality show where all the Lakers live in a house together in the Hollywood hills. The drama here is WAY better than the stupidity of The Surreal Life.

FilthyFinMavs
10-02-2004, 01:05 PM
Miami vs. LA will be the most watched game this season and probably in recent years. I know I will be watching. I'm not sure if they have a game televised but i'm pretty sure ABC or TNT atleast have one MIA vs. LA game televised.

dirno2000
10-02-2004, 02:23 PM
Best believe that they both will be televised. In fact, Game 1 in on Christmas day.

EricaLubarsky
10-02-2004, 03:32 PM
Originally posted by: FilthyFinMavs
Miami vs. LA will be the most watched game this season and probably in recent years. I know I will be watching. I'm not sure if they have a game televised but i'm pretty sure ABC or TNT atleast have one MIA vs. LA game televised.

With league pass I won't have to succumb to the will of the national media's obsession with off-the-court drama.

sike
10-02-2004, 05:03 PM
someone remind me.....what is worse than scum again?

Murphy3
10-03-2004, 04:22 PM
Originally posted by: sike
someone remind me.....what is worse than scum again?

Kobe?

Evilmav2
10-03-2004, 07:39 PM
Bryant misfiring in his war with O'Neal

By Phil Sheridan

The bright light was in his eyes. They beat it out of him. They gave him the
third degree. They played good cop/bad cop. They made him stand on a box
with a hood over his head. It wasn't his fault.

Somehow, the investigators got Kobe Bryant to crack.

Somehow, they broke his will. Got him to do the unthinkable.

Faced with a threat to his career and his freedom, worn down by
interrogation, Bryant looked deep within his soul and...

He gave up Shaq.

Sorry, Big Fella. Force of habit. When the going gets tough, the tough blame
Shaq.

Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Times published notes taken by the police
officers who conducted the initial interview with Bryant after he was accused
of rape in Eagle, Colo.

"Bryant stated he should have done what Shaq [Shaquille O'Neal] does," Det.
Doug Winters wrote in his incident report, according to the Times. "Bryant
stated that Shaq would pay his women not to say anything. He stated Shaq
has paid up to a million dollars already for situations like this."

This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "pay-to-play."

It was Lennon and McCartney who wrote, "Can't Buy Me Love." Now Bryant and O'Neal are here to suggest that, well, maybe you come close.

The Big Wallet replied to the allegation, telling ESPN it was "ridiculous."

O'Neal pointed out that he and Bryant never socialized during their years as
teammates with the Lakers.

"So how this guy can think he knows anything about me or my business is
funny," the Big Roll of Benjamins said.

You have to appreciate this feud. It is a gift that just keeps on giving. Bryant
and O'Neal managed to win three NBA championships together while
apparently hating the very sight of each other. They were always pretty open
about it, but now it appears the final chapter of their mutual story was a lot
more complicated than anyone knew.

According to the Times story, the police approached O'Neal for their Bryant
investigation last year, a couple of weeks before the opening of training
camp. That means O'Neal knew Bryant sold him out to the coppers long before
the season ever started.

Sort of casts a different light on things, huh? O'Neal probably deserves
teammate-of-the-year honors for not snapping Bryant's neck at any point in the long NBA season.

It also casts a different light on the way things played out. When the season ended with that miserable performance against Detroit in the NBA Finals,
Lakers management knew changes had to be made.

Shaq? Traded to Miami.

Phil Jackson? Out as head coach.

Kobe? Handed a long-term, $136 million contract.

The Lakers signed that deal while Bryant's criminal case was still alive. They're
off the hook on that front, just as Bryant is. But what message are we to
decode from their actions? Given the choice between O'Neal and Bryant, they
sided with the guy who turned an appointment with a knee surgeon into a
nightmare for everyone involved, who humiliated his wife and family, who
apparently refused to shoot during one regular-season game last year to send
a message about how important he was, and who dropped a dime on his most
important teammate.

Actually, if Bryant's seven-figure estimate is close to accurate, that's more
like 10 million dimes.

So does Shaq put those down as "business expenses" on his 1040?

That's a joke, of course. There is no evidence the Big ATM Machine has done
anything of the kind. Just Bryant's words, uttered under more desperate
circumstances than most of us are likely ever to face.

In reality, it probably isn't all that uncommon for famous athletes and
entertainers to exchange money for sex - or at least for a little discretion. We
are living in the era of tabloid news and drop-of-a-hat (or other garment)
litigation. It's not a reach to believe that some of the rich and famous figure
it's better to pay upfront.

The real laugh came in the last sentence the L.A. Times used from the
detective's report:

"He stated he, Bryant, treats a woman with respect, therefore they shouldn't say anything," the detective said.

Bryant must be quite the time-management whiz if he was able to treat the
young woman in Eagle with respect during their 20-minute acquaintance.

O'Neal gets the last word. That's only fair, since Bryant fired the first shot.

"I'm not the one buying love," O'Neal said.

Maybe he meant the civil suit that is still pending. Maybe he meant the ring,
reportedly worth $4 million, that Bryant gave his wife after his arrest.

Even if Bryant is right about Shaq, The Big Economist still looks better. And
smarter. And more like someone you'd want as a teammate.

Contact columnist Phil Sheridan at 215-854-2844 or psheridan@phillynews.com. Read his recent
work at http://go.philly.com/philsheridan.