Shaq says he had not spoken to Kobe Bryant in nearly four years
Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant had their fair share of disagreements during their years playing together, and it sounds like their relationship was far from perfect right up until the day Kobe died.
Like many others, Shaq has been devastated over the death of Kobe and Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna. Shaq originally said in an Instagram post that he lost a “brother.” He then delivered a tearful speech during the TNT broadcast on Tuesday night, during which he expressed regret over not having spoken with Kobe in nearly four years. You can hear the relevant portion at around the 3:58 mark below.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) January 29, 2020
“With the loss of my father and my sister, that’s the only thing I wish — that I could just say something to them,” Shaq said. “Last time I talked to (Bryant) was when we were here (in the TNT studio) and I asked him to get 50 and he got 60. That’s the last time I spoke to him.”
Shaq was referring to the final game of Kobe’s career, when he scored 60 points in an epic performance against the Utah Jazz. That game took place on April 13, 2016. While Shaq and Kobe probably communicated at some point via text message or something, Shaq clearly has regrets that they had not spoken face-to-face in years. That’s why Shaq spoke on Tuesday about making sure he finds more time to call his loved ones going forward.
Kobe and Shaq did not hide the fact that they did not always get along as teammates with the Lakers, but Shaq’s son was one of the last people Kobe reached out to before Sunday’s crash. That’s because Shaq and Kobe considered each other family, and we all know the relationship between family members can be complicated.