Former NBA player Olden Polynice hosted on the Fair Game and talked about several things from his NBA career. He was a long-time vet in the league, who knew both Shaq and Kobe exceptionally well and witnessed a conflict that emerged between the two superstars in practice one day.
Kobe later said these types of conflicts were one of the reasons why the won championships, but at that time, it didn’t seem that way from Polynice’s perspective. According to Polynice, Kobe wouldn’t survive the conflict if he didn’t help him after Shaquille O’Neal threw a punch at him that happened during summer workouts.
“I was the guy that stopped the punch that would pretty much annihilate Kobe if it had landed. We were playing basketball in the summertime and workout, and I still remember Laker personnel. They were watching us when we were playing up and down the court, and they got into an argument.”
Polynice also said the main reason that triggered their argument was about the Lakers and who runs the show on the team. Both Shaq and Kobe are big personalities, and neither of them backed down in any way, shape, or form that practice. Shaq threw a punch at Kobe, and luckily for him, Polynice was the closest one standing. He was able to absorb the punch from Shaq that was supposed to go for Kobe.
“They get really serious arguing about whose team it is. They square up, and as I am breaking them up and Kobe said something, and Shaquille reeled back and threw it, and I grabbed him. Part of the patch him me, and the rest followed through on Kobe as soon as I started holding him. I am fighting for life now, I can’t hold this big dude.”