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Source: LEE CELANO / Getty

Basketball fans have taken note of the on-again, off-again connection between former basketball stars Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, and it was ramped up again on social media. In a recent interview in Las Vegas, the Black Mamba stated that if Shaq was in the gym like he was, the duo would have had “f*cking 12 rings.”

Naturally, this reads as if Kobe was hating on Shaq but it’s actually more nuanced than that. During the chat at the PHP Agency Convention in Las Vegas, Bryant essentially stated that if O’Neal were as committed to being in optimal physical health, the duo could have amassed a dynasty to end all with the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I wish he was in the gym,” Bryant said. “I would’ve had 12 f*cking rings.”

What has gone missing in some reaction to the words is Bryant flat out saying O’Neal was better than him.

“He’d be the greatest of all time,” Bryant said of the Hall of Fame big man. “He’d be the first to tell you that.”

While Shaq did respond to the quip by saying, “U woulda had twelve if u passed the ball more especially in the finals against the pistons #Facts,” adding in another response that, “You don’t get statues by not working hard.”

Although this tofu beef seemed to be simmering, Kobe shut it all down with a tweet.

And not only that, Shaq’s having a laugh about it too while NBA Twitter loses their sugar, honey, and iced tea.

Peep the reactions on Twitter below.

Photo: Getty

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