LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Shaquille O’Neal shed tears Tuesday as he discussed the tragic death of friend and former teammate Kobe Bryant who was killed Sunday in a helicopter crash.

“Our names will be attached together for what we did. People always ask about our relationship,” O’Neal said during a TNT tribute to Bryant. “And I tell them it’s just like me and Charles. You’ve got two strong-minded people that are going to get it done that way. Going to say certain things, the respect will never be lost but when it comes to be inside the lines and win, that’s what me and him, that’s what we did. That’s what me and Charles, that’s what we do.”

“We up here, we work a lot,” he said tearfully. “We take stuff for granted…The fact that we’re not going to be able to joke at his Hall of Fame ceremony. We’re not going to be able to say ‘Ha! I’ve got five, you’ve got four.’ The fact that we’re not going to be able to say ‘If we had stayed together we would have got ten.’ Those are the things that you can’t get back.”

Shaq shared a message to Twitter hours after the deadly crash saying, “Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man. That was what we had most in common. I would hug his children like they were my own and he would embrace my kids like they were his. His baby girl Gigi was born on the same day as my youngest daughter Me’Arah.”

“I just wish I could say something to him again,” Shaq said during the tribute.

Bryant, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, were among nine who died Sunday in the helicopter crash in Calabasas.

Also killed in the crash was 56-year-old John Altobelli, the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, his wife Keri and their 13-year-old daughter Alyssa, one of Gianna’s teammates, 45-year-old Sarah Chester and her 13-year-old daughter Payton, 38-year-old Christina Mauser, one of Bryant’s assistant coaches, and pilot Ara Zobayan.

Comments

Leave a Reply