Shaq Delivers Tearful Tribute To Teammate Kobe Bryant, Leads Chant With Fans
Shaquille O'Neal delivered some emotional remarks as he broke his silence following the death of his close friend and teammate, Kobe Bryant.
A tearful Shaq was visibly shaken as he revealed that his "spirit has left his body" in the wake of Bryant's untimely passing in a tragic helicopter accident, that killed eight others including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
And the fact that we lost probably the world's greatest Laker, the world's greatest basketball player, just ... listen, people are going to say, 'Take your time and get better,' but it's going to be hard for me. My spirit just left my body, I just wish I could be able to say one thing ... one last thing to the people we lost. Because once you're gone, you're gone forever.
Shaq and Kobe were almost unstoppable as teammates in Los Angeles on their run in the late 90s and early 2000s. Under head coach Phil Jackson the duo would pile up three consecutive NBA Championships after linking up in 1996. In 2004 Shaq was traded to the Miami Heat while Kobe stayed with the Lakers.
They would feud for years—and even though they would eventually reconcile later in their lives, you can tell that Shaq is carrying some guilt; possibly due to the time he feels may have been wasted during their competitive sparring over the years.
Still, Shaq acknowledged that "their names will be attached together" for what they did.
If we can take one thing away from Kobe's passing, it's to no longer take what we love for granted
Even though Shaq was emotional during his tribute, in another moving video he led the crowd in a "KOBE" chant outside of the Staples Center after the show.