Last week, Vlade Divac admitted Kobe Bryant was the most talented player he had ever played with. It was a bold statement from a former Laker that had also played with Magic Johnson, but it appears that Divac isn’t done with his assessment of Lakers legends.
According to Josh Dubow of the Associated Press, Divac had some interesting comments about former nemesis, Shaquille O’Neal:
“I’ve been in basketball a long, long time and I have to say he’s the most talented big guy I have ever seen,” Divac said Monday. “Shaq wasn’t talented, he was just strong. I was talented, but I wasn’t strong.”
During the Kobe-Shaq era of the Lakers franchise, Divac struggled so much against O’Neal the longtime center of the Sacramento Kings resorted to flopping to trick referees into making bad calls. Some even attribute Divac’s flopping to popularizing the shady tactic around the league.
The Kings and Lakers heated rivalry was at an all-time high during Shaq’s championship years with the storied franchise. Games often got physical with Divac simply unable to contain O’Neal in the paint and players on both teams having a hatred for one another on and off the floor.
Ironically enough, Divac actually works in the Kings front office with Shaq being a part-owner of the franchise in Sacramento. It’ll be interesting to see what O’Neal’s response to these comments by Divac will be.
With that being said, Shaq never had a problem throwing Divac under the bus while he was with the Lakers:
O’Neal even referred to the Kings as the “Queens” at the peak of the rivalry between the two teams. The was no love lost between the franchises back then and especially no love lost between Shaq and Vlade. These comments will almost certainly invoke a response from his former rival.[divide]