Shaquille O’Neal’s Son Shareef Shares Final Message With Kobe Bryant Hours Before Fatal Helicopter Crash

Shaquille O’Neal’s Son Shareef paid tribute to Kobe Bryant with a touching Instagram post of their last conversation, which took place hours before the fatal helicopter crash.

By emily belfiore Jan 27, 2020 1:25 PMTags
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Kobe Bryant's legacy lives on. 

On Sunday, Shaquille O'Neal's son Shareef O'Neal paid tribute to the late L.A. Lakers legend with a touching post. Showcasing his close bond with the NBA alum, the UCLA college basketball player shared screenshots of his last exchange with Kobe, which occurred hours before his fatal helicopter crash that same day.
"You good fam?" Kobe's final message reads, which he sent to check in on Shareef after announcing he'd be leaving the UCLA Bruins. The 20-year-old replied, "Yeah! Just been getting this work in trying to figure out my next move…How you been?"
Reflecting on his devastating and unsuspecting loss, Shareef captioned the post, "The first were messages from THIS MORNING!!! .. I wish I didn't sleep in so I could've talked to you .. I can't even think straight right now.. I'm glad we got to bond over the years .. not only were you a great uncle you were a coach and a mentor to me too .."
He also shared a series of pictures of himself and Kobe from over the years, including a sweet throwback picture of Shaquille and Kobe from their Lakers days. 

Kobe Bryant: Life in Photos

To conclude the emotional post, Shareef also included a screenshot of another message from Kobe from 2018 to wish the young athlete a speedy recovery ahead of his open-heart surgery.

He continued, "I love you man..thank you for everything you've done .. for this city , for the basketball world , and for me ... I won't let you down .. you always counted on me and lifted me up. Love you unc."

Shortly after the news that Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna "GiGi" Maria-Onore Bryant, and seven other people had died, Shaquille took to social media to mourn his longtime friend and teammate.

"There's no words to express the pain I'm going through with this tragedy of [losing] my [niece] Gigi & my brother @kobebryant," he tweeted along with a series of photos. "I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW."

He also later added, "Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man. That was what we had most in common. I would hug his children like they were my own and he would embrace my kids like they were his. His baby girl Gigi was born on the same day as my youngest daughter Me'Arah."

Our thoughts are with Kobe's loved ones during this time.