View Full Version : O'Neal and Bryant didn't want Malone and Payton to start game 4.

Will Galen
06-14-2004, 09:04 AM

There was a considerable amount of pregame speculation as to what Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson would do with his starting lineup. On Saturday, five players -- Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Rick Fox, Derek Fisher, and Devean George -- went to Jackson as a unit and asked that they be allowed to start. That would mean benching the ailing (sore right knee) Karl Malone and the ineffective Gary Payton. Jackson played it coy before the game, although he did say, "we need some revitalization in our lineup. We need to get going." When the smoke cleared, however, the lineup was the same as it had been for most of the postseason: O'Neal, Bryant, Malone, George, and Payton.