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Shaq gets emotional reflecting on Kobe Bryant, later leads crowd in ‘Kobe, Kobe’ tribute chant [Video]

Shaquille O’Neal
Shaquille O’Neal gets emotional when talking about his relationship with Kobe Bryant. Pic credit: Bleacher Report/YouTube

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal were like brothers. In fact, Shaq will tell you they were brothers. Brothers get along great and sometimes brothers fight. That’s how it has been since the beginning of time. Shaq and Kobe were no different.

When Shaq opened up about his former teammate that he referred to as his ‘little brother,” his emotions overwhelmed him.

Shaq’s tearful remembrance of Kobe

On Tuesday evening, an obviously grief-stricken Shaquille O’Neal was sitting at center court inside the Staples Center with his TNT cast as he opened up about the passing of Kobe Bryant.

“I haven’t felt the pain that sharp in a while,” O’Neal said as part of TNT’s tribute to Bryant.

When the news first broke on Sunday afternoon of Kobe’s passing, O’Neal said he was working out in his basement. That’s when one of his nephews told him he saw that Kobe has passed away following a helicopter crash.

Shaq didn’t believe the news at first as he snapped at his nephew saying it could be a hoax.

“And I snapped on [the nephew],” O’Neal said, not believing the news. “We live in a world where anything can be Photoshopped, hoaxed.”

After finding out it was not a hoax, O’Neal was devastated.

To make matters worse, when it was confirmed that eight others, including Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna, were in the helicopter too, O’Neal said that was the  “final blow.”

Shaq leads chants

After all the tears, Shaq, along with the TNT crew of  Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, along with Dwyane Wade shared some great memories.

One of the brighter spots on the evening is when the TNT tribute to Bryant had concluded and Shaq was leaving the Staples Center.

Shaq can be seen walking out to a nice crowd of fans calling out his name. Shaq told them to quiet down, before leading them in a chant of “Kobe!, Kobe, Kobe!”

For a split second, everyone was smiling.

When Shaq and Kobe were in their prime, they were unstoppable. The dynamic duo led the Los Angeles Lakers to three consecutive championships from 2000 to 2002.

Unfortunately, the two All-Star’s couldn’t keep things together in LA as they reportedly could not see eye to eye as teammates any longer. Eventually, Shaq was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004.

Shaq, who was teamed up with Dwayne Wade, won a championship in South Beach in 2006. As for Kobe, he went on to win two more rings in the post-Shaq era as the Lakers won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.

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