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Kobe Bryant Says He and Shaq Have 'Really, Really Good Relationship' Now

LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 30:  Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers watches teammate Shaquille O'Neal #34 shoot a free throw during the game against the Indiana Pacers at Staples Center on November 30, 2003 in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 99-77.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2013

The relationship between Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal soured quickly in Los Angeles as the team wasn't big enough to handle the egos of the two stars. Shaq and Kobe seem to have patched up their relationship in recent years, however.

In the Lakers' most recent game against the Phoenix Suns, the two shared a few moments before the game, and a lot of people took notice.

Of course, that led to a few questions being asked after the game was over about the relationship between the two players. Via Larry Coon:

Kobe on Shaq: "Shaq & I have a really, really good relationship now. We really appreciate each other now."

— Larry Coon (@LarryCoon) February 13, 2013

It definitely seems as if that's no more than Kobe talking to reporters like he's supposed to, but the video that came out along with the news shows an extremely endearing attitude toward the big man he used to run alongside. 

Hell, he even acknowledged that he was the Robin to Shaq's Batman during their three-peat run back in the early 2000s (h/t Shahan Ahmed, NBCLosAngeles.com).

If that's not enough to sell it to you, just take a look at the picture that was snapped of the two of them before the game.

The two had perhaps the most memorable teammate feud in the history of the NBA, ending with Shaq being traded to the Miami Heat.

Shaq won a championship with Miami, driving Kobe to win two more with the Lakers in an endless back-and-forth that seems to have finally come to a close.

As Shaq's career wore on and he became less of a threat as a superstar player, it seems that Kobe lightened up on his relationship with the big dude, but they never really seemed as chummy as they looked in Los Angeles.

It's just too bad that neither of them made this realization before their team was broken apart. They could have won another handful of rings had they stuck together.

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