Shaquille O’Neal’s 1 Kobe Bryant Wish Revealed on Live TV After Emotional Statue Unveiling

Published 02/08/2024, 7:37 PM EST

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On an emotional night for the NBA, the Kobe Bryant statue unveiling triggered memories for everyone, including one former teammate. While Bryant played with many great players throughout his career, he had the most success with Shaquille O’Neal. So it’s understandable O’Neal would be more emotional than most tonight. Live from the TNT studio, Shaq would reveal the one thing he misses the most when it comes to his partner-in-crime with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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If I had one wish, I wish we would be talking to him right now.” For the statue itself, the big man said, “Beautiful statue. She says they’re gonna have 3 statues? That’s gonna be a great joy to see. Listen, I have a million Kobe stories, glad I got the opportunity to play with him. Definitely wouldn’t have got 3 in a row without him.” 

However, the 4x NBA Champion had to give a special shoutout to The Mamba’s family. “His family was very nice to me. So, I wanna shoutout his mom, Pam, his father, Joe, sister, Cheryl, and Ria. They won’t be talked about a lot so I wanna give them my love and respect.” 

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Reflecting on their relationship, the Miami Heat legend had nothing but glowing memories. “Glad to be part of the most enigmatic, controversial, dominant one-two punch ever created. Never to be duplicated. When you say Kobe, you say Shaq, and when you say Shaq, you say Kobe.”

On an emotional night, the big fella said what was in everyone’s hearts and minds. However, he wasn’t the only one to invoke family.

The Family Man – Kobe Bryant

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Before Shaq, it was Derek Fisher who would speak on the love Bean had for his family. Present at the statue unveiling ceremony, Fisher would go into detail about the impact Bryant had as a father on him. Whether it was Disneyland trips during off days or the love visible for his daughters, Bryant left his longtime teammate in awe.

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Despite the on-court accomplishments, of which there were many, it was his unwavering commitment as a father that impressed Derek the most. But, perhaps, his love for his children doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

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Through an illustrious career, the one thing Bean took pride in more than anything else was his role as a father. Before any of the accolades, he was first and foremost a “Girl Dad”.

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Written by:

Priyanshu

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My earliest memories of a connection to basketball was through its popularity in my school. Eventually, that gave way to a genuine passion for the sport and the rest, is history. Whether it be gameplay, the tactics, the narratives, or the sheer art on display, the game speaks to me in a way few other things can.
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Edited by:

Pragya Vashisth

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