That's an extremely slanted, biased, and often flat-out incorrect article there. Suggesting that Shaq didn't add just as much fuel to the fire as Kobe did is asinine. They went back and forth in the media all year long. Shaq never bit his tongue and kept his mouth shut like that article says. I saw interview after interview, tirade after tirade, of Shaq slamming Kobe just as much as Kobe slammed him, if not worse.
The bottom line is, they've got the two biggest egos in the NBA, and if they're not able to win Championships, then they can't coexist. Period. Winning kept them civil towards eachother. Shaq's been just as much a whiny piece of $h!t as Kobe has been all year. Their behavior has been ridiculous and embarrassing throughout - both of them.
Most Laker fans have known all year long that if we didn't win the title, either Shaq or Kobe would be gone. They let last year's gaff slide, but two in a row and the party's over. Jerry Buss prefers Kobe, and unfortunately made that all too clear a couple days ago (through Kupchack), so now Shaq wants out. As for Phil, he was teetering on the Shaq/Kobe decision too. If Shaq had stayed, Phil would've probably stayed. If Kobe stayed, it meant Phil had to go, 'cause Kobe wasn't too big a fan of him.
But they're both whiny primadonnas, hell - even Phil is, and they've increasingly been so over the past couple years. There's really no in-between ground here. You're either on Shaq's side, or Kobe's side. Obviously that writer was on the former, and wrote his biased piece as such. But after watching these two egomaniacs all year long (and every year prior), I can guarantee you that article is completely bogus.
But the idea of McGrady and Shaq together down in Orlando makes me a little nervous. Hopefully Kupchack has the sense not to let that happen. Meanwhile, both Payton and Fisher have to decide by Wednesday if they're staying or going. Rather hard decision, considering they have no idea whatsoever who will be coaching, which superstars might be staying (if any), etc. That'd suck to be in that position.
It's been insane around here in L.A. with all the media coverage of the Laker fallout. TV, radio, newspapers, etc. Everywhere you look it's crap about the Lakers, and how freaking dysfunctional and egomaniacal they all are. Real crappy way to end the era...