Shaq: I’d take Kobe over LeBron because of ‘killer instinct’

Despite bad blood between the two ex-teammates, Shaq (left) voiced his preference for Kobe (right) over LeBron James.

Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Shaquille O’Neal played with both Kobe Bryant and LeBron James during his career and said he would choose his former Lakers frenemy over his one-time Cavs teammate.

Appearing on “The Dan Patrick Show” Monday to promote his new podcast, Shaq was asked by Patrick to choose between James and Michael Jordan. The question was asked because Bill Laimbeer recently said he’d take LeBron over MJ. Shaq took His Airness. Next, Patrick asked Shaq to choose between Kobe and LeBron.

Somewhat surprisingly, given their volatile history in LA, Shaq took Kobe.

“Kobe has that killer instinct, and I would probably have to go with Kobe,” Shaq told Patrick. “That’s not a knock against LeBron. But I know Kobe and played with him longer and seen what he can do. Yes, he does have (that killer instinct). A lot of people try to compare (LeBron) to Michael when he’s more like Magic (Johnson). When he needs to take over a game, he will. He’s really really smart. He’s very intelligent and lets the game to come him and he relies on others.”

That’s saying a lot coming from Shaq given how much beef he’s had with Kobe over the years.

Allegations of Shaq threatening to murder Kobe came up last week, and the Big Fella downplayed that and said the issues between the two weren’t that bad. He also said it was his plan to retire as a Laker, but the team chose Kobe over him and traded him to the Miami Heat, where he won another title.

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