It wouldn't be Christmas without a Shaq-Kobe feud, and now it seems Phil Jackson wants in on the tradition.
Jackson, who once upon a time seemed to favor his star center over his star shooting guard, on Sunday called out O'Neal, saying he was "the only person I've ever had that hasn't been a worker."
Shaq, who is rarely at a loss for words, was asked about Jackson's comments on Monday following Miami's 101-85 win over O'Neal's former team.
"How can Benedict Arnold be reliable in what he says?" the Big Aristotle was quoted as saying in Tuesday's edition of The Los Angeles Times. O'Neal declined to elaborate on his statement and, since he was in street clothes for the game, was not required to give a formal post-game interview.
O'Neal and Bryant had been feuding since O'Neal's trade to Miami following the 2003-04 season. But last year the two superstars stated publicly that they had reconciled their differences.
Then came Jackson's comments on Sunday.
"He's the one guy that didn't really like to work," said the coach who boasts nine NBA championship rings. "I know Pat [Riley] got him working here in Miami. We had a hard time getting him to work. All the other players -- Michael [Jordan], Scottie [Pippen], Dennis Rodman, all those guys that we had, Horace Grant, they're all hard-working practice and personal work players."
Of course, O'Neal was not the only player Jackson prodded. Speaking about Dwyane Wade, Shaq's new partner in crime and last year's NBA Finals MVP, Jackson said, "He travels on that spin move. He picks up that pivot foot everybody knows it. Dwyane Wade can cover so much ground when he makes that move. As you know, he can go 20 feet with that spin move and get to the basket."
While Jackson's comments are sure to refuel a media frenzy that was threatening to die down, it did little to help his team, which has lost three of five.