There’s nothing more exciting than a passionate sports rivalry. Usually, we associate rivalries with a player or team’s most hated opponents. but this isn’t always the case. Many teammates resent and even hate each other and became bitter enemies in real life. Sometimes, they gave each other the cold shoulder but remained professional during games.
However, it also can have a demoralizing impact on locker rooms and ruin a team’s prospects. Athletes take sides and this division can cause chaos. So today, we’ll look at some of the most notorious examples of teammates who became bitter enemies. There are some crazy stories including violent assaults and verbal abuse here, so be forewarned.
Shaq and Kobe Bryant
O’Neal and Bryant were two of the greatest Lakers players, but they were bitter enemies behind the scenes. ‘Shaq’ was the top dog when Bryant arrived on the scene as a youngster straight from high school. But it quickly became apparent that Bryant was a special talent and this threatened O’Neal’s position as the team’s leader (via Sportskeeda).
He resented the younger man for coming and stealing his thunder. They enjoyed NBA Championship success three times together but there was always tension between them. Finally, the aging O’Neal departed for the Miami Heat, and Bryant became the Laker’s sole franchise player. Later, the pair resolved their differences and admitted respect for each other.