Shaquille O’Neal Breaks Down Crying While Discussing Kobe Bryant: I Haven’t Felt Pain That Sharp In Awhile [WATCH]
The dynamic duo of all things Kobe and Shaq is arguably one of the most legendary in NBA history. And now that Kobe Bryant has tragically passed after a fatal helicopter crash, Shaquille O’Neal is understandably having an extremely difficult time coping with the loss of his friend and L.A. Lakers teammate.
During NBA on TNT Tuesday (Jan. 29), he first spoke on the passing of his younger sister.
“Well as you know … the last couple of months have been really tough. I lost my little sister, I haven’t been sleeping, I haven’t been doing the normal things I usually do. I work, we laugh, we kid, we joke, well I get back home I look at reality and say ‘She’s gone’ and it just hurts.”
He then told co-host Ernie Johnson how he found out about Kobe Bryant passing away.
“So the other day I’m downstairs working out with my son Shaqir and my nephew Columbus and my other nephew comes in crying, and he shows me his phone, and I snapped at him. I said ‘Man get that out my face. Get it away from me.’ We live in a world where anything can be photoshopped, anything can be hoaxed, I didn’t wanna believe it. And then I got the call from you, Charles [Barkley], Kenny [Smith]. Everybody called me. And then we found out that it was confirmed.”
“I haven’t felt a pain that sharp in a while. [I’m] 47-years-old, lost two grandmothers, lost a sarge, lost my sister, and now I lost a little brother. Our names will be attached together for what we did. People always ask about our relationship, and I tell them it’s just like me and Charles. You got two strong-minded people that are gonna get it done their way, they’re gonna say certain things, but respect will never be lost. But when it comes to being inside the lines and win, that’s what we did. That’s what me and Charles, that’s what we do.”
He added how he felt when it was initially reported that fellow L.A. Lakers player Rick Fox was on the plane. Those reports later came back as false.
“It was sort of like a triple stabbing to heart because after you cry and wonder about that, then I get back on the internet, Rick Fox is on the plane. So now I’m sick even more. I’m calling Rick, he’s not answering. So now I’m like what’s going on?”
Unfortunately, Kobe Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant was on the helicopter and lost her life as well. Shaquille O’Neal said that was “the final blow.”
“His lovely daughter was with him on the helicopter. You know we, every time I saw his lovely wife and his kids, same thing I do with Kenny’s kids, and Dwyane Wade’s kids, ‘Hi my name is Uncle Shaq.’ I don’t know if they know me as a basketball player, it doesn’t matter. It’s ‘Hi I’m Uncle Shaq.’ I try to make them laugh, and he would do the same thing.”
He said his son, Shareef O’Neal, called him and told him that Kobe Bryant text him just hours before the accident. Shareef O’Neal later posted those messages on Instagram.
Shaquille O’Neal added,
“Shareef called me devasated and said Kobe just text me to check and see how he was doing. And he used to do that from time to time. It just makes you think that in life, sometimes instead of holding back certain things, we should just do. We up here, we work a lot. And I think a lot of times we take stuff for granted. I don’t talk to you guys as much as I need to.”
He added that there won’t be any jokes at the upcoming Hall of Fame ceremony to honor Kobe.
“The fact that we’re not gonna be able to joke at his Hall of Fame ceremony. We’re not gonna be able to say ‘Ha! I got 5 you got 4!’ The fact that we won’t be able to say ‘If we would’ve stayed together we could’ve got 10…'”
Continued and lasting for everyone impacted by the fatal tragedy!