Shaquille O’Neal was like the entire NBA community when news of Kobe Bryant‘s tragic death struck its collective heart — Shaq was devastated. But Shaquille O’Neal was unlike the entire NBA community, too — because Shaq’s bond with Kobe was etched more deeply than all the rest. The two men are inseparable, glued together in the three-peat annals and forever linked in words and deeds.
Even when the two teammates and former teammates were at odds, they were together. It’s a link and a brotherly love that Shaq came ever more to treasure as the years went on — and it’s what makes Shaq’s reaction to Kobe’s passing almost harder to bear than that of the rest of the stricken NBA faithful.
Shaq & Kobe was singular, not plural, and it was a singular piece of basketball heaven. And it’s what makes the “Kobe” chant that Shaq leads in the short video above so poignant and touching and heart-wrenching. The tears continue to flow for Kobe and his family and all those touched by the tragedy.
Here is Shaq expounding on his loss and his love: