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Shaquille O’Neal reportedly told New Orleans Saints not to let the media divide them like they did “Me and Kobe”

Shaq wants the New Orleans Saints to remain united.

Photo: KEVORK DJANSEZIAN - Associated Press

Former NBA superstar center Shaquille O’Neal reportedly told the NFL’s New Orleans Saints to avoid letting the media divide them.

The businessman and TNT analyst was on the call during which Saints quarterback Drew Brees apologized to his teammates following his controversial comments regarding NFL players taking a knee during the American National Anthem. The statement sparked a bitter backlash from fans and teammates alike; former NBA player Stephen Jackson also hit out in a strongly-worded video last week.

According to NBC Sports‘ Peter King, O’Neal also addressed the team and admitted the media drove a wedge between himself and the late Kobe Bryant during their time as teammates in Los Angeles. He urged them not to let it happen in their own locker room.

King wrote:

“As one ear-witness said, O’Neal told the coaches and players words approximating these: They’re going to try to divide you, just like they divided us with the Lakers! Me and Kobe [Bryant], we had a great thing going, but the media divided our team. We could have won five more championships! Stay strong. Don’t let the media divide you! Don’t let social media divide you!”

Photo: CBS Sports

Shaquille O’Neal Had A Strained Relationship With Kobe Bryant

Shaq’s issues with Kobe in the early 2000s are well-documented. In the years since, he’s played it down with claims that the media blew it up into something much bigger than it really was.

Fortunately, the two icons were able to mend fences after parting ways and O’Neal was one of the persons who spoke at the soon-to-be Hall of Famer’s memorial ceremony earlier this year.

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