A new Shareef O’Neal tattoo is honoring the late Lakers great Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna.
Shareef, who is the son of Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, had the artwork done as a tribute to Kobe whom he’s said to have viewed like an uncle.
The former UCLA men’s basketball player recently showed off the new ink online through his social media, following in the footsteps of current Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who both got Kobe-inspired tattoos.
Shareef O’Neal tattoo images arrive online
Over a week ago, five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant tragically perished in a helicopter crash along with his daughter and seven others. The news shocked people all over the world as they learned that the 41-year-old former Lakers star had died.
That led to plenty of tributes, which included social media posts remembering Kobe, as well as various athletes and celebrities finding other ways to honor Bryant. Some even chose to have special tattoos done in memory of Kobe, including Shaquille O’Neal’s son.
According to TMZ’s report, part of Shareef’s new tattoo layout features Kobe’s jersey numbers 8 and 24 shown alongside an image of Gianna’s No. 2 jersey with Mamba across the front.
Sharif also has another part of the design on his leg with the words “Mamba Mentality” above a logo.
Late on Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning, Shareef posted an image to his Twitter profile showing that he was having a Kobe Bryant tribute tattoo drawn on his leg. He captioned the image with “Can’t wait for you guys to see final product.”
Later on, Shareef shared some more looks at the new Kobe tribute artwork on his leg on his Instagram Story. Other Instagram accounts, including @ertvmedia reposted screenshots (below) to show off the final tattoo.
Shareef played for UCLA in several games during the current college basketball season. However, after head coach Mick Cronin didn’t include Shareef in several of the Bruins’ games, O’Neal announced he was leaving the school.
He’s now on the lookout for a new college to play for and could very well follow in his dad’s footsteps by heading to the NBA.
That recent decision to transfer out of UCLA also gave Kobe Bryant good reason to check on Shareef with a text message he sent the same morning as his tragic helicopter crash.
Shareef’s father Shaquille O’Neal emotional after Kobe’s death
Following the news of Kobe Bryant’s death, his former Lakers teammate Shaquille O’Neal was also quite shaken up. Shaq gave his thoughts about Kobe during an NBA on TNT telecast and was in tears.
Prior to Shaq making his on-air comments, NBA on TNT host Ernie Johnson mentioned that Kobe had sent a message to Shaq and his son Shareef that morning.
Shaq reflected on all of the losses he’s endured in his life including Kobe whom he referred to as “a little brother.”
Shaq and Kobe won three NBA championships together as members of the Los Angeles Lakers. The two superstars also had their struggles but managed to patch things up.
In Shaq’s emotional comments following Kobe’s death, he mentioned Shareef telling him, “Kobe just texted me” to see how he was doing, something Kobe used to do “from time to time.”
In a YouTube video report from The Fumble, they discussed how Shareef missed the message that Kobe sent him. That message was regarding Shareef’s decision to transfer with Kobe asking, “You good fam?”
Shareef slept in and didn’t reply until later telling Kobe he was good and trying to figure out his next move. Unfortunately, by the time Shareef replied, Kobe’s accident had already occurred.
During his comments on TNT, Shaq also mentioned that he and Kobe’s names will be forever attached due to what they accomplished on the court together during their NBA careers.
With Shareef O’Neal’s tattoo, he’ll have a forever tribute to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna to honor their memories.