Shaquille O'Neal Explains Why He Can't Watch Kobe Bryant's Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Shaquille O'Neal is happy that Kobe Bryant will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame this year, but he has no plans of watching the ceremony. On his podcast The Big Podcast with Shaq, O'Neal revealed that he won't watch his former teammate be honored at the ceremony in August. The four-time NBA champion said watching the ceremony would make him sadder than he already is, and he couldn't handle it.

"I'm actually not going to watch the Hall of Fame ceremony," O'Neal said, per Hot New Hip Hop. "On the scale of sadness from 1 to 10, I'm finally at least at a 2 now. That would bring it back to a 7, 8, 9 and I can't right now. So I don't want to see old highlights that I'm already watching now...It would be great if his wife gave a speech or his mom or dad give a speech but I'll see that afterward. You know what would be nice? If they had a hologram. A hologram of him sitting next everybody else."

Bryant died in a helicopter crash along with his daughter Gianna and seven other people on Jan. 26. He was honored at the Staples Center in February and O'Neal was one of the few people who spoke at the event. He shared a funny story about Bryant when they were both on the Lakers. O'Neal said: "The day Kobe gained my respect was... The guys were complaining, saying 'Shaq, Kobe's not passing the ball!' I said 'I'll talk to him.' I said 'Kobe, there's no I in team.' Kobe said 'I know, but there's an M-E in that motherf—er."

When O'Neal first heard the news of Bryant's death, he said: "It was very hard, I've never seen anything like this before. I was at the house the day it happened and my son brought me the thing. You know how the internet is. Stop playing with me, get out of my face with that right now. Just stop and then I got the calls. A guy who helped me become as big as I am, and we will always be forever linked."


Bryant and O'Neal did some damage together when they were on the Lakers. Both joined the team in 1996, but O'Neal left in 2004. During that time, the Lakers won three consecutive NBA titles, and O'Neal was named NBA Finals MVP three times.