What started as a simple hypothetical question about who would win between a team of all-time Los Angeles Lakers and a squad of Chicago Bulls greats, wound up turning into an all-out Instagram war between Hall of Famers Shaquille O'Neal and Scottie Pippen last week.
The back-and-forth exchange quickly turned personal with O'Neal declaring that Pippen was nothing more than Michael Jordan's sidekick and Pippen reminding Shaq that he has more championship rings than him.
Now, a week later, and O'Neal tried to clarify how the feud began on the Monday edition of The Big Podcast With Shaq.
As the four-time NBA champion explains it, he saw an Instagram follower post a picture with Lakers and Bulls greats, asking who would win in a game, and simply re-posted it. According to Shaq, the drama began when Pippen directly responded to the hypothetical question.
"Now, he made it personal when he said, '@Shaq I don't believe in hypotheticals.' He swung first, so I'm going to swing second and I'm going to swing last," O'Neal explained. "Because I don't let bums disrespect me. Yeah, he was a great player but I'm the bridge, he's the water. He will always be under me. Every now and then he will rise to the occasion to get to the same level as the bridge but when reality kicks in, I'm bridge, he is water, he is under me. Scottie Pippen can't disrespect me."
The Diesel wasn't done flexing on Pippen, though.
"He made it personal when he put @Shaq, we got six rings like he was the main focus of the six rings. You were not the main focus of the six rings," he continued. "Don't make me pull up the scouting report. You wasn't even a factor on the scouting report. It was all about Mike."
While Pippen wasn't the focal point of those Bulls teams the way Shaq was with the Lakers, Pippen certainly was a crucial factor on offense and defense in helping Chicago win six titles. O'Neal was referring to this picture that Pippen posted with all six of his championship rings.
The question now is with Shaq further stirring the pot, will Pippen retort and keep this feud going or let it die out?
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(Photos from left: Kevin Winter/Getty Images, Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Haute Living)