Shaquille O’Neal on Regrets About Kobe Bryant: “I’m Upset As I Should Have Contacted Him More. We Should Have Spoke More.”

Published 12/16/2021, 4:30 PM EST
Los Angeles Lakers Shaquille O’Neal, left, shares a laugh with Kobe Bryant on the bench during a pre–season game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim Thursday, October 23, 2003. (Photo by Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


Among the NBA’s greatest duos, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal definitely rank among the top ones. The pair wreaked havoc in the league for the eight years they spent together with the Los Angeles Lakers. Although they had their ups and downs, both O’Neal and Bryant developed an unspoken bond and a connection on and off the court. This is why when the news of the former guard-forward passing away came in, it left O’Neal in a state of shock and disbelief.

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In his illustrious career, Kobe Bryant was a one-franchise player. For 20 years, he led the Lakers will diligence and passion. His ‘Mamba mentality’ was influential in creating an elite era in LA. Winning four titles, he earned the accolade of one of the sport’s greatest players in history. Meanwhile, O’Neal was a vital feature of his success along the way. Till today, the NBA hasn’t witnessed a center-forward with the sheer dominance of the 49-year-old. With this duo performing together every other night, it was a sight to behold for fans, and a nightmare for oppositions.

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Shaquille O’Neal reveals regret over Kobe Bryant passing

Due to their proximity even after retirement, 15-time All-star Shaquille O’Neal couldn’t believe Kobe Bryant was no more. At the beginning of 2020, a horrific helicopter crash took away the lives of numerous innocent people. Since then, O’Neal has expressed multiple times how much the news affected him, and how he has struggled over the past year or two. In a recent interview, however, he revealed his deep regrets over not having spent more time with his brother from another mother – Kobe.

WATCH THIS STORY: 5 Times Shaquille O’Neal Almost Killed His Opponent On An NBA Court

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Since the outbreak of the pandemic, O’Neal has been doing a lot of great work for the ones affected. Recently, he spoke to TNT about how the 18-time All-star was all he was thinking about, even during his social work.

“It’s a rough day, can’t believe the year has gone by so fast,” he said and continued, “I’m upset as I should have contacted him [Kobe] more. We should have spoke more. Because it’s not a lot where you can create history with somebody that’ll never be forgotten.”

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – JUNE 12: Kobe Bryant, Lindsey Hunter and Shaquille O’Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrate following Game Four of the NBA Finals against the New Jersey Nets on June 12, 2002 at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images)

None of us have fully moved on from the absence of Kobe Bryant yet. So it is only natural that the great Shaquille O’Neal, who won most of his accolades alongside Bryant, is still recuperating from the loss. Looking at the work he is doing though, we’re sure LA’s eternal #24 is looking on as a proud friend.

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

548 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is an NBA and Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, soccer and table tennis. Sankalp idolises Roger Federer and Stephen Curry, and has an inherent love for statistics.

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