Kobe Bryant's wife denies comeback rumor started by Shaq: 'He doesn't want to play again'

You can rely on Shaquille O'Neal for throwing shade at Charles Barkley, but can you rely on him for accurate NBA rumors?

According to Kobe Bryant's wife, Vanessa, you cannot.

Shaq recently told TMZ that his former Los Angeles Lakers teammate might be making a comeback so that he can play with LeBron James. But Vanessa took to Instagram this week, as noted by Yahoo! Sports' Ben Rohrbach, and cleared the air.

"Kobe will not be coming out of retirement to play again," she said in response to a fan asking whether Shaq's comments were true. "He doesn't want to play again and, frankly, we really enjoy spending time together as a family without the crazy game schedule interfering with birthdays, holidays and special events."

Approached at an L.A. charity basketball game over the weekend, O'Neal was asked if he'd consider returning to the court at age 46 to team up with LeBron now that No. 23 is with the Lakers. After an emphatic "no, I'm done," he turned to the camera with this:

"Kobe coming back, I heard. Kobe coming back, I heard he was. You heard it here first."

Bryant, who played with O'Neal from 1996-2004, may still be a beloved figure in L.A., but he's 39 now and hasn't played in the NBA since retiring in 2016. He also played in just 107 total games over his final three seasons, and it's not as if he isn't enjoying his post-basketball dive into Los Angeles' entertainment scene.

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