Kobe Bryant makes an appearance on Shaquille O'Neal's podcast, set to be broadcast Monday, and the former teammates address the intense feud that led to their split not long after winning three consecutive championships with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bryant and O'Neal were teammates on the Lakers from 1996 to 2004 and won titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002. They also reached the NBA Finals together in 2004, when they lost to the Detroit Pistons.
The pair constantly clashed along the way, though, and ultimately split up, with O'Neal being traded to the Miami Heat, with whom he won the 2006 title.
Despite their success together with the Lakers, it is often believed the two could have achieved so much more had Bryant and O'Neal worked out their differences.
In the podcast, "The Big Podcast With Shaq," the two expressed regret over the feud.
"A lot of stuff was said out of the heat of the moment," O'Neal said in an excerpt from the podcast that was played on ESPN Radio on Wednesday. "I guarantee I don't remember a lot of stuff that they said, because I changed my thought process of, you know what, we won three out of four, what the hell are you all talking about? This is not really even a story."
Said Bryant: "Here's the thing, though. When you say it at the time, you actually mean it, and then when you get older you have more perspective, and you're like holy s---. I was an idiot when I was a kid.
"To me, the most important thing was really, 'just keep your mouth shut.' You don't need to go to the press with stuff. You keep it internal, and we have our arguments and our disagreements, but I think having our debates within the press was something I wish would've been avoided. But it did kind of create this whirlwind around us as a team with myself and Shaq and the press and the media that just put so much pressure on us as an organization."