Shaquille O'Neal announced his retirement on Wednesday, ending a brilliant 19-year NBA career on a relative down note as Shaq was injured much of the 2010-11 season and couldn't help the Boston Celtics win another championship. Along with the amazing highs of his career -- an MVP and four titles at the top of the list -- Shaq leaves a legacy of drama with his star teammates.
The feud between Shaq and Kobe Bryant is legendary. Kobe came into the league at just 18 years old, just as Shaq arrived to revive the skidding post-Showtime L.A. Lakers. The duo ascended to great heights, winning three straight championships under Phil Jackson. But the cracks began to show toward the end of the threepeat as Kobe saw himself in more of a role as the team's best player, while Shaq didn't appreciate the young buck gunning for his status. Shaq also somehow found himself swimming in Kobe's rape case in Colorado, when reports leaked that upon being questioned by police Bryant claimed that O'Neal had refined the process of paying off women to be quiet. (That was certainly a low point in media attention on the Kobe-Shaq feud.)
When a power struggle resulted in Shaq being traded to the Miami Heat, the drama didn't end between Shaq and Kobe or between Shaq and his new co-star. Shaq teamed up with Dwyane Wade to lead the Heat on a great run, and together they led Miami to the 2006 championship. But the team fell apart quickly, and Shaq turned on Heat architect Pat Riley ... which caused Wade to turn on Shaq. A bad break-up led to another O'Neal trade, this time to the Phoenix Suns.
There, Shaq got healthy, but allegedly stole Steve Nash's idea for a television show that became ABC's Shaq Vs. Another trade landed O'Neal with the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he was determined to "win a ring for the King," meaning LeBron James. That didn't work, and instead James joined Wade in Miami, along with Chris Bosh, a player Shaq had previously called the "RuPaul" of the NBA, nodding to the world's most famous cross-dresser.
Really, Shaq's feuds with teammates are part of what made him so entertaining ... so long as you weren't a fan of one of his teams.