Kobe Bryant's death is still a shock to many most especially those who played with him during his active days at both the club and national level.
The 41-year-old died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, January 26, alongside his 13year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.
Few days after his death, Kobe's former teammate as LA Lakers Shaquille O'Neal seems to be the one who has been hit with the news of the NBA legend's passing.
O'Neal, 47, reveals he is sick 48 hours after the disheartening incident that claimed the lives of nine people on board.
Big Shaq as he is popularly known has said on his show 'The Podcast with Big Shaq' that he has struggled to eat and sleep since the news broke.
He added that the death was particularly painful as he was still dealing with the passing of his sister Ayesha, who died in October 2019.
"It just hurts. I’m just getting over the death of my sister. You guys told me the other day when I came in, I looked like I needed some rest. And I haven’t been sleeping after Ayesha’s death,” he explained.
Shaq and Kobe looked to have an underlying beef in the recent past but the big man opened up on their relationship where he revealed it was all love behind the scenes.
“All the stuff that is documented between us .. this is what brothers do. I love Kobe Bryant. I'm the first to say. I've got 4 rings. I couldn’t have gotten three without him,” Shaq was quoted by TMZ.
The pair had just started rekindling their relationship in recent years and Shaq wishes they would have communicated more often before Kobe’s death.
Interestingly, Kobe’s daughter Gianna who also perished in the crash, shared a birthday with O’Neil’s 13-year old daughter.
As such, the basketball legend made sure he reached out to Kobe’s widow Vanessa Bryant with a message of encouragement.
"[Vanessa] lost her beautiful GiGi who was born on the same day as my 13-year-old daughter and that's what really hurts."
It has also emerged Kobe messaged Shaq’s son Shareef ahead of the teenager’s move to the University of California, Los Angeles.
Kobe texted Shareef asking “You good fam?” at around 8:13 am and the young lad replied two hours later on Sunday. In between that time, Kobe and his daughter were involved in the accident.
Legit.ng earlier reported that the University of Connecticut women's basketball team has paid a tribute to Gianna Bryant - daughter of NBA legend Kobe after her untimely death.
The 13-year-old rising star was among the nine people that died in the ill-fated helicopter crash which occurred on Sunday.
Kobe revealed in 2018 that her daughter had dreamt of playing for the UConn after NBA Hall of Famer Reggie Miller persuaded the 41-year-old to send his daughter to the University of California.
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