Shaquille O’Neal got emotional during NBA TV’s broadcast ahead of Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night. He was discussing the 23rd anniversary of the Lakers’ iconic 13-point fourth-quarter comeback to beat the Trail Blazers in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. The late Kobe Bryant famously threw up an alley-oop to Shaq to punctuate the win.
“I’m happy that happened, but every time I see my young fella, he’s not with us anymore, kinda makes me sad,” Shaq said. “Shout out to his mom and dad, we talk all the time, his sisters. Of course it was a happy moment, but if I could trade that moment and have him sitting here with us or be able to text him and say, ‘Kob’ can you believe this happened 23 years ago?’ that would be better for me.”
Shaq & Kobe Take On The Trail Blazers
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: The Los Angeles Lakers’ Shaquille O’Neal (L) and Kobe Bryant (R) talk in the second quarter during their NBA game against the Portland Trail Blazers 15 April 2001 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 105-100. AFP PHOTO/Lucy Nicholson (Photo credit should read LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in 2020. Despite their success together n the court, Shaq and Kobe feuded for years while he was alive. The NBA legend admitted that he hadn’t spoken with Bryant for years after his passing. While breaking down into tears on air at the time, Shaq remarked, “With the loss of my father and my sister, that’s the only thing I wish — that I could just say something to them. Last time I talked to (Bryant) was when we were here (in the TNT studio) and I asked him to get 50 and he got 60. That’s the last time I spoke to him.”
Shaq Reflects On Kobe Bryant
As for the NBA Finals, the Denver Nuggets are currently up 1-0 in the series. The Heat look to even things up tonight before heading back to Miami for Game 3 on Wednesday.
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