Wednesday, September 8, 2004
Updated: September 9, 3:58 PM ET
Take note: O'Neal calls out Bryant
ESPN.com news services
The Diesel is back in the booth, and the word is out.
Miami Heat center Shaquille O'Neal, whose rap albums include "Shaq Diesel" and "Shaq Fu -- Da Return," has collaborated with DJ Vlad on a new rap CD called "Hot In Here Part Five." On the single titled "You Not The Fightin' Type," O'Neal takes a swipe at former Los Angeles Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant.
In the song, while calling out DJ Skillz, a Cincinnati-based radio deejay, O'Neal says: "Even with wings you never as fly as me ... you remind me of Kobe Bryant trying to be as high as me ... but you can't ... even if you get me traded ... wherever I'm at, I'm Puffy; you Mase and you're still hated."
After the Lakers lost in five games to the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals in June, the dismantling of the Lakers began in earnest, starting with the departure of coach Phil Jackson and, eventually, O'Neal.
It was rumored that Bryant, who signed a seven-year, $136.4 million contract with the Lakers in July, was a factor in the Lakers' decisions not to renew Jackson's contract and to trade O'Neal to the Heat.
Bryant said he had nothing to do with the departures of O'Neal and Jackson.
"That upsets me. That angers me. That hurts me. They did what they had to do. That had nothing to do with me. In a perfect world, we would have all come back and won another [NBA championship]."
In spite of the contentious history between O'Neal and Bryant, they led the Lakers to three successive NBA titles from 2000-02.