In All Honesty, Couldn’t This Feud Have Ended Two Seasons Ago?

By Gregory Moore
Updated: January 18, 2006

SAN ANTONIO — Take what you want from what Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal did this past Monday night at the Staples Center. The two NBA superstars, former teammates, and until the TNT broadcast hated enemies, shook hands, exchanged greetings and hugged in front of a sold out crowd and a nation who was honoring the accomplishments and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Shaq says that he got some good advice and decided to act upon it.

“I had orders from the great Bill Russell,” O’Neal said. “Me and him were talking in Seattle the other day, and he was telling me how rivalries should be. I asked him if he ever disliked anybody he played against, and he told me, `No, never,’ and he said that I should shake Kobe Bryant’s hand and let bygones be bygones and bury the hatchet.” Now me being my cynical self these days, has to ask the following question: Couldn’t this whole escapade have been handled two years ago by a sit down meeting between Bryant, O’Neal and a mediator of their choosing? If it seems that I’m a little ambivalent to the kissy, kissy make up that these NBA stars showed, it’s because I think that grown men could have solved this problem a long time ago. I believe that had Bryant been a true man, he would have gone to O’Neal shortly after blabbing his name in his court proceedings and said, “look man I was scared [bleep]less when they questioned me in Colorado. I didn’t mean to put you in the middle of this mess.” The burying of the proverbial hatchet could have come from such a simple gesture but when egos are involved, you can forget such irrefutable logic coming from responsible individuals. Add to this caldron of bad blood the fact that Dr. Jerry Buss and Mitch Kutpcheck fueled the heated tensions and you can see why this feud lasted this long. But I still maintain that if Shaq and Kobe just ‘quietly’ handled this situation, things would not have been as heated as they were. But then again I never do take my hindsight glasses in to the eye doctor for adjustment.

Harper’s Wife Out of the Slammer

Harper, wife needs serious counseling. Daniell Harper stayed in jail over the weekend while her husband tried to help the Indianapolis Colts defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers. With the season ending for the Indianapolis Colts, maybe it is time for the Harpers to visit a marriage counselor and see if they can save their marriage before things really escalate beyond an accident.

The Harpers are fast becoming this year’s poster couple for domestic violence amongst athlete based marriages and that’s not good. Nick is wrong for hitting his wife and Daniell is wrong for even going for a deadly weapon and then stabbing her husband. Both were wrong in their instances but maybe it’s not too late for someone to intervene and show them a better way to communicate their displeasures with each other.

Daniell had to spend the weekend in jail because she committed a more serious crime of domestic violence than her husband. Wielding a knife and then injuring Nick has some serious consequences. The question now becomes should this couple still be together after this ordeal? If these two truly love each other, then they need to go to counseling and seek professional help. If not, then they need to part ways and now while things are still civil. This should not escalate any further no matter what their decision ends up being.