Shaquille O’Neal Makes Candid Kobe Bryant Admission To Give Jayson Tatum & Jaylen Brown Finals Advice

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Los Angeles Lakers' Shaquille O'Neal (R) and Kobe
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 6: Los Angeles Lakers' Shaquille O'Neal (R) and Kobe Bryant stand next to each other during the first quarter of NBA Finals, Game 1 against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, 06 June 2001. AFP PHOTO / VINCE BUCCI (Photo credit should read VINCE BUCCI/AFP via Getty Images)
Shaquille O’Neal admitted he was always the second best player on the Lakers.

Shaquille O’Neal shared some advice for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown during NBATV’s pregame coverage of the NBA Finals on Sunday night. In doing so, he reflected on his relationship as a teammate with Kobe Bryant during their Los Angeles Lakers' title runs. He admitted that he was never the best player on the team and had to accept being the second option for them to succeed.

“In my Laker runs, I wasn’t the best player on the team," O'Neal admitted. "I knew that, but I knew I was the most dominant. So, I knew my role. I knew what I had to do. I wasn’t worried about these useless titles. So if those two young gentlemen are worried about useless titles … it will definitely affect them tonight. … Not only affect this game, but they will lose the series."

Kobe Bryant & Shaquille O’Neal Celebrate NBA Championship Victory

LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: Kobe Bryant (L) of the Los Angeles Lakers holds the Larry O'Brian trophy as teammate Shaquille O'Neal (L) hold the MVP trophy after winning the NBA Championship against Indiana Pacers 19 June, 2000, after game six of the NBA Finals at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. The Lakers won the game 116-111 to take the NBA title 4-2 in the best-of-seven series. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP via Getty Images)

O'Neal's advice comes after Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd labeled Brown the Boston Celtics' best player, last week. “Jaylen’s their best player,” he said after the Game 1 loss. “He did everything, and that’s what your best player does. Just understanding how to play both sides — defense and offense at a high rate — he’s been doing that the whole playoffs.”

Shaq Shares Advice For The Celtics

Despite their success together, O'Neal and Bryant's relationship on the court eventually deteriorated and the iconic big man left for the Miami Heat. Years later they mended their relationship before Bryant's tragic passing in 2020. Be on the lookout for further updates on the NBA Playoffs on HotNewHipHop.


About The Author
Cole Blake is currently an Editor at HotNewHipHop based out of Brooklyn, New York. He began working at the site as an intern back in 2018 while studying journalism at St. John’s University. In the time since, he’s graduated with a bachelor's degree and written extensively about a wide range of topics including pop culture, film & television, politics, video games, sports, and much more. He’s also covered music festivals such as Gov. Ball and Rolling Loud. You can find him publishing work for HNHH from Monday to Wednesday or on weekends. On the sports front, Cole’s a passionate NBA and NFL fan with his favorite teams being the Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Lakers. He also roots for the Yankees whenever he finds himself at Yankee Stadium or the Red Storm when in the company of other SJU alumni. His favorite hip-hop artists are billy woods, Earl Sweatshirt, Cam’ron, MIKE, and Mach-Hommy.