Christmas Day 2004, the Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Miami Heat, in what also was Shaquille O’Neal’s return to L.A.
Shaq’s feud with Kobe Bryant was hitting its peak. O’Neal didn’t even look at Kobe’s face once and blocked his shot in the very first play of the game.
It was one of the most anticipated games ever in Los Angeles. Shaq eventually fouled out and Kobe ended up with 42 points, but missed the game-winning shot.
After the game, Shaq spoke to a reporter about Kobe’s shot and the Heat’s overall performance. He said that he wasn’t worried about Kobe’s shot going in because he knew he was going to miss because of how his team’s defense played. Shaq regretted getting fouled out as he felt he let the team down.