The sports community is grieving the loss of NBA legend Kobe Bryant as he was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday, and one of his most notable teammates sent a heartfelt message to him and the family. Shaquille O'Neal played with Bryant when they both with the Los Angeles Lakers in the early 2000s, and once he heard the news, he expressed his sadness about losing a friend and his "niece" Gianna. O'Neal also shared a number of photos of the two during their playing day.
There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW pic.twitter.com/pigHywq3c1— SHAQ (@SHAQ) January 26, 2020
A number of fans showed their support for both O'Neal and Bryant.
"Cherish life and those in it life can be taken away from you in the snap of a finger," wrote one fan. "Give that special someone in your life a hug and kiss and tell them you love them! Life's to short for arguments and words you don't mean."
"Kobe should be the new logo of the NBA." another fan added.
The relationship between O'Neal and Bryant was interesting when they were teammates. Bryant talked about a time when both were playing a pickup game in Los Angeles and they got into a fight.
"You kept saying 'Yeah, take that little b—. Take that little b—,'" Bryant said via Clutch Points. "I'm looking around, 'Oh, he's f—ing talking to me.' Right? I said 'Well hold on, ain't going to be too many more of those 'little b—.' And what'd you say? 'Well whatchu gonna do about it? Whatchu gonna do about it?'
'The next thing I knew I saw a big hand coming this way, and I remember going this way [opposite direction]. And I remember throwing some lollipop s—. And then they just kinda broke us apart."
O'Neal and Bryant butted heads a lot during their time in Los Angeles, but they had much love for each other. And when both players were on the same page, they were hard to stop as they won NBA titles from 2000-2002.