Shaquille O’Neal shares how he initially mourned Kobe Bryant’s death
Shaquille O’Neal has been remarkably candid about how he was left completely devastated by Kobe Bryant’s death, a tragedy that he still says he “couldn’t believe” happened.
The NBA legend recently shared in an interview how he initially mourned the death of his longtime Los Angeles Lakers teammate, who, after years of estrangement, ultimately became his close friend.
Appear Wednesday night on Conan O’Brien’s eponymously named TBS show, “Conan” — which the host of course is doing from home — O’Neal opened up about how he watched old games of him and Kobe playing together as a way to mourn.
“I watched every playoff game that we ever played. I just sat in my room and told people, ‘I don’t want to talk to anyone,'” O’Neal told O’Brien, as transcribed by The Hollywood Reporter. “And I am just looking at him [on film] like it can’t be true because he is right there on the screen.”
Shaq went on to again vow he will not be watching the 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame ceremony — where Kobe will be inducted alongside Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan — because the experience would be too painful for him.
O’Neal was understandably left devastated when Bryant, daughter Gianna and seven others perished in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., on Jan. 26. It’s clear that the untimely death of his dear friend continues to have a profound impact on the Hall of Famer.
O’Neal’s full interview on “Conan” follows.