The inner workings of Los Angeles Lakers teammates Shaquille O’Neal and the late Kobe Bryant are well documented. Although they worked well on the basketball court, the two didn’t see eye to eye when the game wasn’t being played.
This past weekend, the NBA honored the 75th Anniversary of the league at halftime during the weekend’s All-Star festivities, Essentially Sports reports. It also honored the 75-greatest players, and included on that list were greats such as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, LeBron James, O’Neal, and his fallen teammate Bryant.
The TNT commentator got emotional as he spoke on the NBA on the TNT broadcast. He mentioned the many people who helped him along the way to his legendary NBA career, including some of the all-time greats who played on the hardwood as he was growing up.
As he was finishing the emotional discussion, he pointed out three people who were not able to attend the 75th Anniversary Team acknowledgment this past weekend: his father and his sister, as well as his ex-teammate, Bryant.
“What really saddened me about today is that my father couldn’t be there, my sister couldn’t be there, and my main man, Kobe Bryant, couldn’t be there,” O’Neal stated. “A lot of people helped me get here. But those three. Dad pushing me, my little sister covering for me and Kobe going back and forth, making each other great. It was a great moment for me. It’s a great honor.”
— TurnerSportsPR (@TurnerSportsPR) February 21, 2022
The center, who was the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 1992 NBA Draft, was also included on the NBA’s 50th-anniversary team. He has won a total of four championships while appearing in 15 All-Star Games. He is also in the NBA Hall of Fame.
Byant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people on Jan. 26, 2020.