Shaquille O’Neal Estimates What Kobe Bryant Would Say to Those Mourning Him

by Keeli Parkey

Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, died in a tragic helicopter crash one year ago today (Jan. 26). On the sad anniversary, Shaquille O’Neal, someone who knew the legendary NBA shooting guard well, is discussing how the Black Mamba would feel about the comments his mourners are making.

Shaq shared his thoughts during an interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on Tuesday (Jan. 26).

“What would Kobe say to all of us now?” Smith asked Shaq. “He’s in heaven looking down on us; wishing us the best – probably wanting to push us, drive us forward. What would he be saying to us about now as it pertains to how we should be feeling about him and what we all should be doing with ourselves. What would he say in your estimation?”

The answer Kobe would give, according to Shaq, is pretty straightforward.

“He would probably say, ‘Carry on,'” Shaquille O’Neal told Smith. “He would probably say, you know, ‘Thank you.’ At age 17, he said ‘I’m going to be the Will Smith of the NBA. … I want to be one of the biggest names to ever grace the basketball court. People are definitely going to remember my name.'”

Shaq goes on to call Kobe Bryant “a legend.” He also said he has purchased and plans to purchase artwork inspired by the Black Mamba.

“Every day I see a Kobe highlight,” Shaquille O’Neal also told Smith. “Every day I see a Kobe tribute. … I actually have a mural in my living room.”

You can watch Shaquille O’Neal talk to Stephen A. Smith about Kobe Bryant below. Bryant died at the age of 41. Gianna Bryant, his daughter, was 13.

Shaquille O’Neal, Others Mourning Kobe Bryant, Vanessa Bryant

On Monday (Jan. 25) Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s widow, shared a very moving message from one of Gianna’s friends as a way to recognize the year anniversary of her and Kobe’s sudden, shocking deaths.

The friend, who signed her name as Aubrey on the letter, sent it to Vanessa. Vanessa then shared it on social media.

“Today, I received this sweet letter from one of Gianna’s best friends, Aubrey,” Vanessa Bryant wrote. “I love you Aubz (as my Gigi would call you). Thank you so much for beautifully sharing some of your memories of my Gigi with me and allowing me to share them here on my ig. My Gigi is INCREDIBLE, and I truly appreciate your thoughtful letter. She loves you so much. I miss my baby girl and Kob-Kob so much, too. I will never understand why/how this tragedy could’ve happened to such beautiful, kind and amazing human beings. It still doesn’t seem real. Kob, we did it right. Gigi, you still make mommy proud. I love you! #PlayGigisWay #Mambacita#Mamba #DaddysGirl #GirlDad

Kobe Bryant helped the Los Angeles Lakers win five NBA Championships during his 20-year career. Clearly one of the greatest basketball players of all time, he was once voted as the league’s most valuable player and twice chosen as the MVP of the NBA Finals, just to name a few of his accolades.