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Shaquille O'Neal offered LA Lakers' Isaiah Rider $10,000 to fight Kobe Bryant just days after he joined team

Rider revealed how O'Neal had approached him with a proposal should he and Bryant 'get into it' physically just after arriving in LA in 2000
UPDATED APR 15, 2020
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal had once allegedly offered LA Lakers teammate Isaiah 'JR' Rider $10,000 to fight late basketball great Kobe Bryant, just days after he had joined the team. 

49-year-old Rider revealed the news while on the 'All The Smoke' podcast last week. He told the hosts how O'Neal had approached him with a proposal should he and Bryant "get into it" physically just after arriving in LA in 2000. 

Rider shared, "So when I first get to the Lakers, Shaq tells me, ‘If you and Kobe get into it, it’s 10Gs in the locker'. This is three days into practice. I’m like, ‘Man, come on, you playing, man.’" Rider shared that O'Neal was serious and claimed that Shaq's ire was enough to offer him $10,000. 

Rider also recalled O'Neal telling him, "There’s 10Gs in $1 bills, man, if you ever get into it and handle your business, grab that. I couldn’t believe it. I’m like, man, these boys is crazy, bro." The offer was a non-starter though, Rider revealed. 

"But this is my thing: I would’ve been off the team so fast if I laid a hand on that man. That’s the great one," Rider shared. Rider had played nine NBA seasons before he retired in 2002. O'Neal and Bryant had been feuding near the end of their time with the Lakers but had later become close friends. 

Isaiah Riders revealed that Shaquille O'Neal had offered him $10,000 to fight Kobe Bryant (Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash on January 26 which killed nine people. Among the victims were Bryant, his daughter Gianna, college baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa (a friend of Gianna's), Sarah and Payton Chester, and one of the coaches at Kobe's youth academy, Christina Mauser, who was married to Tijuana Dogs singer Matt Mauser.

His widowed wife Vanessa recently took to Instagram to pay tribute to her late husband on the four year anniversary of Kobe Bryant's NBA sendoff. We had previously reported that Vanessa had written in her post, "My husband worked his a** off for 20 years. Gave it his all. All he wanted was to spend time with our girls and me to make up for lost time. He wanted to be there for every single milestone and special moment in our girls' lives." 

The couple shared four daughters together: Natalia, 17; Gianna; Bianka, 3; and Capri who is 9 months old. "He only got to enjoy 3 years and 9 months of retirement. We had 2 more daughters, he won an Oscar, he opened Granity studios, he became a 5x best selling author and coached Gianna's basketball team in that time," she continued in the post. 
"I wish I could go back to that morning, every day," she continued. "I wish they had a normal local game on 1/26. Life truly isn’t fair. This is just senseless." 

Vanessa had also filed a  wrongful death lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Island Express Helicopters Inc, the company that operated the helicopter, and alleged the pair suffered "pain and anguish" between the time of the crash and their deaths.