An HBO docuseries profiling the life of NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal will have limited commentary pertaining to his late Lakers teammate, Kobe Bryant. According to Robert Alexander, the director of the four-part series, after viewing the project, Bryant’s family requested that multiple portions of the film be removed. Alexander, an Emmy Award-winner, sat down with The Rich Eisen Show to discuss the forthcoming project, titled SHAQ.
“To be transparent, we also got to a point where we had a certain amount of their story in the film,” Alexander revealed. “Kobe’s family essentially requested that we reduce the amount of Kobe we have in the film.” When asked if the content made the Bryants uncomfortable, the director admitted that the nature of their reservations were unclear, but he and his team ultimately decided to oblige their request.
“I’m not totally sure, but out of respect for their wishes we did it, we went ahead and we complied… So I’m very proud of what we ended up with, as far as the amount of Kobe content that we have, that relates to Shaq’s story, but at the end of the day it’s a Shaq film.”
Shaq joined the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996, the same year Kobe was drafted and traded to the team. The pair played eight seasons together, winning three consecutive NBA titles from 2000 to 2002 before Shaq was traded to the Miami Heat following the 2003-2004 NBA season. O’Neal would win an NBA title with the Heat in 2006, while Bryant remained with the Lakers and won two additional NBA titles and two NBA Finals MVP awards in 2009 and 2010.
In addition to releasing SHAQ, HBO optioned a second season of Winning Time earlier this year, which is rumored to be based on the years Kobe and Shaq spent together as members of the Lakers francise. SHAQ will be available for streaming on HBO and HBOMax on Wednesday (Nov. 23).