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Shaq's Painfully Beautiful Tribute To Kobe During Special 'NBA On TNT' - Pledges Through Tears To Change His Life

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After also recently losing his father and his sister, losing his longtime brother has been virtually too much to bear. Tonight, in place of the now postponed Lakers vs. Clippers game, an extremely emotional Shaquille O'Neal and the hosts of the popular NBA on TNT pre/post show did a special tribute show for Kobe Bryant.


The fellas - who are usually joking incessantly during the hilarious shows - were somber and extremely emotional, especially Shaq, who won 3 NBA championships together with The Lakers. Despite their emotional roller coaster of a relationship, the two grew to become very close after finally coming to a mutual understanding, calling each other brothers, and even were uncles to each other's kids.

That powerful bond they grew to have made the tragic fatal helicopter crash Sunday night impossible to deal with. Earlier reports said Shaq "was not doing well," but he made sure to tribute his brother in a beautiful way tonight. While pushing himself to get through it, Shaq showed his vulnerability and grief. He said the final stab in the heart was the fact Kobe's daughter, Gianna, was also on that fatal flight.

"Every time I saw his lovely wife and his kids, same thing I do with Kenny's kids and D-Wade's kids, I say "Hi, my name is Uncle Shaq." I don't know if they know me as a basketball player, doesn't matter. I am Uncle Shaq and I try to make them laugh. And he would do the same thing. Shareef called me devastated and said "Kobe just texted me to see how I'm doing. He would do that from time to time."



Breaking down into tears, he revealed:


"It just makes me think that in life, sometimes instead of holding back certain things, we should just do. We up here, we work a lot. I think a lot of times we take stuff for granted. I don't talk to you guys as much as I needed to. The fact that we're not going to be able to joke at his hall of fame ceremony. Th fact that we're not going to be able to say "I got 5, you got 5." We're not gonna be able to say "If we'd had stayed together we woulda got 10." Those are the things you can't get back."

"I wish I could just say something to him again."

"Last time I talked to him it was when we were here [at Kobe's last game] and I asked him to get 50, and he got 60. That's the last time I spoke to him. I just wish I coulda...."

"It definitely changes me. I work a lot. i probably work more than the average guy. But now I just have to take time and just call and say "I love you." Rick Fox called me and said "I love you."

”I’m gonna try to do a better job of reaching out and talking to the people, rather than just procrastinating. Because you never know.”






Watch his remarks in full below:

If there's one positive thing that's come out of this really, really sad situation, it's that the lessons Kobe had been teaching to his teammates-at-large (meaning, players on any and all squads in any and all sports) from the moment he entered the league up until the day he died, are now sinking in. And his soul shattering death is life changing, in some way, for almost everyone.

Shaq has been posting heartfelt messages about Kobe, and you definitely get the feeling he thought he would always have more time to bond even more with his brother. Being hit with the impossible fact that time is suddenly up isn't even believable.




Thankfully, Shaq has pledged to make a life change and not let the non-stop grind and taking time for granted get in the way of calling up friends and family just to check in, get together and stay connected. Hopefully, Shaq being transparent has inspired others as well.


Photo: Getty

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