Brothers for life.
Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant were two peas in a pod on the Los Angeles Lakers for the better part of a decade. Together, the pair helped lead their team to three straight NBA titles from 2000 to 2002. When news broke of the death of the legendary player on Sunday after a horrific helicopter accident that killed Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant and seven other passengers, Shaq was quick to express his condolences and sadness over the loss of not only his teammate, but his brother.
On Tuesday night, the former NBA player was on hand at the Staples Center in Los Angeles to lead fans paying their respects in a chant for Kobe. In a video posted on social media, Shaq is seen leaving the arena and going outside before quieting fans down in order to start up a chant for his friend. "One more time—Kobe! Kobe!..."
The player has spent the last few days celebrating his friend, and opened up on his podcast about the severe distress he's in due to the loss of his friend and the death of his sister Ayesha to cancer in October.
"There's no words to express the pain I'm going through with this tragedy of [losing] my [niece] Gigi & my brother @kobebryant," O'Neal tweeted along with a series of photos on Sunday. "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."
Shaq also made an appearance on Tuesday night alongside other NBA athletes Dwyane Wade, Charles Barkley and others, and shared his desire to be more intentional with his loved ones.
"We're up here, we work a lot and I think a lot of the time we take stuff for granted. Like, I don't talk to you guys as much as I need to," he tearfully told his friends. "The fact that we're not going to be able to joke at his Hall of Fame Ceremony; we're not going to be able to say, 'Ha! I got five, you got four'... Those are the things you can't get back."
Shaq also tweeted on Wednesday that he would continue to hold his previously scheduled Miami Fun House event, and the funds raised will go to the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant foundation and to the families who lost loved ones in Sunday's tragic accident.