Kobe Bryant Is Older, Wiser And Reflecting On His Feud With Shaq

Guess time really does heal all wounds?

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal had one of the most successful pairings in the NBA, winning three consecutive NBA championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002 for the Los Angeles Lakers and making a fourth appearance in the 2004 NBA Finals.

Unfortunately, tensions between the two players took up just as many headlines as their successes (if not more). There's even a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to their beef. Seriously.

Well, there's now a recent update to said page and the tale of Kobe and Shaq: The pair addressed their relationship when Kobe appeared on his former teammate's podcast. In the interview, which will air in full on Monday, Bryant chalked up the very public spat to just being young and stupid.

Here's what Kobe had to say, per an excerpt of Bryant's appearance on "The Big Podcast With Shaq" provided to Bleacher Report.

Here’s the thing, though, when you say it at the time you actually mean it and then when you get older you have more perspective and you’re like holy s**t, I was an idiot when I was a kid. To me, the most important thing was really just keep your mouth shut. You don’t need to go to the press with stuff. You keep it internal and we have our arguments and our disagreements, but I think having our debates within the press was something I wish would’ve been avoided, but it did kind of create this whirlwind around us as a team with myself and Shaq and the press and the media that just put so much pressure on us as an organization.

Shaq, for his part, noted "A lot of stuff was said out of the heat of the moment," adding that the pair's squabbling likely prevented more championships during their time in Los Angeles.

"It was just two alpha males, the business aspect kicks in, and I was getting older," Shaq explained.

Bryant likened the dynamic between him and Shaq to a hypothetical scenario where an in-his-prime Wilt Chamberlain and an up-and-coming Michael Jordan were each vying for success and leadership on the same team.

"How long is that going to last before Michael says, 'You know what, it's time for me to show what I can do'?" Bryant said. 

"That's a good analogy," Shaq replied.

Looks like they're finally agreeing on some things.

The full interview will air Monday on PodcastOne, and you can hear more from the excerpts at Bleacher Report.

Also on HuffPost:

Kobe Bryant Through The Years