Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal gave some emotional remarks following the death of his former teammate and fellow NBA All-Star, Kobe Bryant .
“We up here, we work a lot,” O’Neal said during a broadcast on TNT. “And I think a lot of times we take stuff for granted. Like I don’t talk to you guys much about, as much as I need to, the fact that we’re not going to be able to joke at his Hall of Fame ceremony.”
“Those are the things you can’t get back,” O’Neal said.
The two Lakers were an iconic duo for the organization during the late 1990s and early 2000s. The two players joined the Lakers in 1996, and together they would win three consecutive titles under the leadership of coach Phil Jackson.
“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,” O’Neal said. “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.”
“Our names will be attached together for what we did,” O’Neal added.
Bryant died on January 26 at the age of 41 in a helicopter crash that also killed Gianna, his 13-year-old daughter. In addition to Kobe and Gianna Bryant, seven others were killed in the crash in Calabasas, California.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is conducting an investigation into the crash with assistance from the FBI.