Publisher's note: This informational nugget was sent to me by Ben Shapiro, who represents the Daily Wire, and since this is one of the most topical news events, it should be published on BCN.
The author of this post is Amanda Prestigiacomo.
On Tuesday night, NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal was moved to tears discussing the shocking loss of former Laker teammate Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter accident on Sunday with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.
"We up here, we work a lot, and I think a lot of times we take stuff for granted. Like, I don't talk to you guys as much as I need to,"
an emotional O'Neal said, sitting center court at the Staples Center.
"That fact that we're not going to be able to joke at his Hall of Fame ceremony,"
he continued. "We're not going to be able to say, 'Ha, I got five, you got four.' The fact that we're not going to be able to say, 'If we had stayed together we would have gotten ten.' Those are the things you can't get back."
Bryant and O'Neal won three consecutive NBA Championships together in 2000, 2001, and 2002.
"I wish I could say something to him again,"
the retired NBA star said of Bryant, after noting the loss of his own father and sister.
The last time he spoke to Bryant, recalled O'Neal, was his last NBA game before retirement. "I told him to get 50 (points) and he got 60," he said. "That's the last time I spoke to him."
Bryant famously scored an astonishing 60 points on 50 shots in his last NBA game.
"It definitely changes me,"
O'Neal revealed. "I work, probably, more than the average guy, but I really have to now just take time to call and say, 'I love you.'"
"I'm gonna try to do a better job of just reaching out and just talking to the people, rather than always procrastinating, because you never know. Life is too short,"
When O'Neal first started hearing the news of Bryant's accident, he said he was hoping it was a sick Internet joke. "I didn't wanna believe it."
In a podcast which aired on Monday, O'Neal explained that he and Bryant's relationship was like a brotherhood; they fought like brothers but cared deeply for one another.
"I'm sick right now,"
the basketball star said, according to The New York Post
. "And I know some idiot's gonna bring up the relationship me and Kobe had. Our relationship was that of brothers. We're brothers on this podcast, John, we argue all the time. But in real life, when I see you and your lovely wife, it's all about respect."
Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others, including two of Gianna's teammates, were tragically killed in a helicopter accident in California over the weekend. As noted by The Daily Wire
, the former Laker explained in 2018 that he frequently traveled via helicopter so he could avoid notorious Los Angeles traffic and save time which could be spent on his children.
"I had to figure out a way where I could still train and focus on the craft but still not compromise family time,"
Bryant said during a podcast. "So that's when I looked into helicopters, to be able to get down and back in 15 minutes and that's when it started."