Shareef O’Neal explains how he uses Kobe Bryant’s final text message as motivation
Shareef O’Neal was one of the last people Kobe Bryant reached out to before the Los Angeles Lakers legend died in a helicopter crash earlier this year, and O’Neal says that has been a great source of motivation for him over the past several months.
Bryant checked in on O’Neal, who is the son of Shaquille O’Neal, the morning of the helicopter crash. Kobe sent Shareef a text message asking him, “You good fam?” O’Neal opened up about what that meant to him in a recent interview with B/R Hoops, and he said he now has a screenshot of the text saved as the background on his phone.
Shareef opens up to @brhoops about receiving one of Kobe's last text messages and how Kobe's death impacted him: “My phone background is just literally that message and I look at it every day because … it just motivates me.” pic.twitter.com/xQPoWCRPqs
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 8, 2020
O’Neal announced just days before Kobe’s death that he was transferring from UCLA, so Kobe may have been checking in on him to see how things were going with that. O’Neal also took a medical redshirt as a freshman after doctors discovered he had a heart condition for which he underwent surgery.
While Shaq has indicated he has regrets over not remaining in closer contact with Kobe in recent years, it is clear the two Lakers legends were family. Shareef now has the text message from Kobe as a reminder that Bryant was thinking about him.