Tuesday , Nov , 18 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Kobe Says Little; Phil Jackson Not So Shy to Discuss Shaq Comments

Phil Jackson was far more expansive. After all, he was the man Shaquille O’Neal blamed for the creative tension that inspired a rather public feud between O’Neal and Bryant when they played with the Lakers earlier this decade.

When someone asked about O’Neal’s comments, which pinned the blame for "everything" on Jackson, the Lakers’ Hall of Fame coach smiled his wry smile and said, "Even his (notoriously poor) free-throw shooting?"

When the laughter died down, Jackson didn’t skip a beat.

"Well, I’m glad we motivated him when he was here and we won three championships," he said of O’Neal, who is now with the Phoenix Suns. "I think that was the best thing we did. We all have good feelings about that time. And, yes, I’m sure there were some plans in motivating Shaq.

"We were having a lot of fun as a team. It was just a laugh and a goof. That part was fun, but 2004 got a little bit tense. That was a tough time."