Shaquille O’Neal has opened up on Kobe Bryant’s particular bond with his children after it emerged the NBA star had messaged his son, Shareef, simply hours earlier than his tragic dying.
Bryant was killed alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and 7 others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas in Los Angeles final month.
The basketball and sporting world has been united in grief ever since and tributes flowed in for Bryant on the NBA All-Star recreation on Sunday night time.
O’Neal, who performed alongside Bryant on the LA Lakers, spoke about his former team-mate earlier than the sport and revealed how supportive he was of his children, together with Shareef.
‘Just him taking the time to talk to my kids,’ O’Neal advised EW.
‘Unfortunately, for me, even though I was a great player, I’m not my children’ favourite participant… For [Kobe] to take the time to textual content my infants, test up on them… It was particular.
‘I reciprocated the same energy when I saw his kids,’ he added. ‘I at all times walked up to them and stated, “Hey beautiful ladies. My name is uncle Shaq”.’
Bryant’s reminiscence was honoured on the recreation the place Team LeBron beat Team Giannis within the 69th All-Star recreation in Chicago.
Literally this morning you reached out to me ….ð I like you eternally uncâ¤ï¸ I like you pic.twitter.com/3oVgvKKUkm
— Shareef OâNeal (@SSJreef) January 26, 2020
O’Neal was requested to share his greatest reminiscence of Byrant and stated: ‘My favourite second with him on the courtroom was after successful the primary championship.
‘Out of the thousand people in the arena, the one guy running and jumping in my arms was… it was him.’
A memorial will happen for the sporting icon and his daughter Gigi on 24 February on the Staples Center, the house of the LA Lakers.
The date is particularly vital as Kobe’s LA Lakers shirt quantity was 24, and he spent twenty years on the workforce.