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“He’s Living with Regrets Everyday”: Shaquille O’Neal’s Heartbreaking Kobe Bryant Admission Moves NBA World to Tears

Published 12/28/2022, 7:50 AM EST

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It is no secret that Shaquille O’Neal and the late Kobe Bryant were not the best of friends during their playing days. The two Los Angeles Lakers legends locked horns while they were teammates and they were rarely on same the page during discussions. The duo played for the same team but their off-court relationship never got past being teammates. However, both were unstoppable on the court and their partnership brought the Lakers three consecutive championship titles from 2000 to 2002. However, things started to change after they parted ways in 2004. Fast forward to a few more years, arguably the greatest duo in basketball history, not only mended their ways, but became very close friends to each other, until the tragedy hit.

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Kobe Bryant‘s death affected Shaquille O’Neal deeply. Reflecting on their relationship, Shaq had expressed his regrets of never being able to built a good bond with his former teammates. The Big Aristotle recently revealed the toll Kobe’s death took on him, prompting fans to offer their support.

Shaquille O’Neal finds it difficult to sleep after Kobe’s death


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The entire world was in shock when the Calabasas helicopter crash made the news. Everyone mourned the irrepairable loss suffered by the basketball community, especially fans across generations who were inspired by Kobe’s indomitable urge to strive for greatness. For Shaquille O’Neal, the pain was two-fold. Shaq had lost his sister, Ayesha Harrison-Jex, just three months before the Black Mamba passed away. In an episode of the HBO docuseries SHAQ, the four-time NBA champion confessed that he hadn’t been able to sleep since his sister and Kobe’s death.

“I don’t go to bed till 5 AM… Ever since Kobe [Bryant] and my sister died I can’t sleep,” the Big Aristotle admitted in the SHAQ documentary.


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Following the revelation, NBA Twitter poured in comments expressing their sympathy and prayers for him. Below are a few of the tweets.

‘Big Brother’: Shaquille O’Neal on How His Relationship With Kobe Bryant Is Similar to His Relationship With Charles Barkley

Shaq expressed his grief on TNT

During a 2020 TNT tribute to Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal teared up while talking about Kobe, who he once considered his little brother. The athlete turned NBA analyst was joined by fellow analysts Charles Barkley, Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Dwyane Wade, Reggie Miller, and Jerry West during the special segment.

“I haven’t felt a pain that sharp in a while,” said Shaq, reflecting on the tragic incident.

Furthermore, Shaq talked about his relationship with the five-time NBA champion and said that he and Kobe were like Shaq and Barkley. While they might clash at certain points, they would always have that respect for each other.

WATCH THIS STORY: Kobe Bryant’s Best Lakers Teammates Featuring Shaquille O’Neal and Pau Gasol


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Given that Shaq had lost two important people in just a span of three months, it is no wonder that the Diesel still finds it hard to move on from their deaths.




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Written by:

Siyari Debbarma


One take at a time

Siyari Debbarma is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. She is currently pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering from Abascus Institute of Engineering and Management. She previously interned at the Y-East Organization as a content writer.
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Edited by:

Satagni Sikder