Shaquille O’Neal: “It was all marketing”

So, um, forget all that stuff he said, the rap video, the veiled insults. Whatever feud we thought he had with Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson was all a game, Shaquille O’Neal said in an interview that will air on ESPN.

“We helped you hype it up,” O’Neal said. “I know what I’m doing, brother. I’m the smartest player in the world … It was all marketing.”

Behind all the “marketing,” O’Neal said, he had a great affection for Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson.

“I always loved Kobe,” he said.

And Phil Jackson?

“Yes, he’s the greatest coach ever. He’s done a lot for me. Phil’s my guy. It was all marketing brother,” O’Neal said.

So if they didn’t break up after the 2005 season, what would’ve happened?

“We’d probably have about six or seven (championships) now, easily,” O’Neal said.