August 29, 2015 | 9:14 pm EDT Update
At the time, O’Neal felt he was not getting the contractual respect the Lakers had afforded Bryant. “It was just two alpha males, the business aspect kicked in, and you know, I was getting older,” O’Neal says on the podcast. “So, you know, management was like ‘Hey, we know you’re getting older and we know you want this, but we want to give you that.’ And in my mind, I was like, ‘I’m not getting older. I don’t want that. I don’t want that,’ and they just wanted to move in a different direction.” For his part, Bryant says on the podcast the parting was practically inevitable. The result was the deal that sent Lamar Odom, Brian Grant and Caron Butler and a first-round pick to the Lakers, with O’Neal two summers later reveling in the Heat’s title. To this day, O’Neal insists he did not force the trade, even though his 2004 bluster indicated otherwise. “I definitely did not want to leave L.A.,” he says on the podcast.
The NBA preseason doesn’t kick off until the beginning of October, so how about some killer handles to hold you over? Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving had plenty of highlights in this 15-minute video featuring the 60 best crossovers from the 2014-15 season.
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August 29, 2015 | 6:00 pm EDT Update
SLAM: There was a video out a few weeks ago with you working on your three-point shot. Can we expect you to step out and take more going forward? Anthony Davis: I’m going to mix it up. I love playing down low, but at the same time, if the opportunity is there; I’m definitely going to take them. That’s one thing for sure that coach Gentry has told me—“Shoot the ball,” “Let it go.” I’ve been working on it and I’m very confident in my game. I’ve shot three’s all my life. I didn’t really need to shoot them over the past few years as much, but I’m never going to turn down shooting threes, especially if the coach tells me he wants me to shoot them. It’s something that I’ve definitely been working on. I definitely plan on utilizing it this year.
SLAM: Just sitting here next to you, the obvious difference is the muscle you’ve put on your frame. You’re obviously preparing to handle more of a load down low going into the season. AD: It’s probably like 10-12 pounds. I’ve just been really working, man, and staying in the gym; weights. That’s the first thing that everybody says when they see me: “Oh, you’re getting bigger!” When you’re going against Dwight Howard and Big Cuz, you gotta put on some weight.
Q. With this contract, you just provided financial security for yourself and a whole lot of people in your immediate family. What sort of importance do you attach to that? Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. It’s a great feeling. But I never did any of this for the money, fame, fortune, Instagram followers or Twitter followers. That can all come and go. But ball and family – that’s not going anywhere.