Kobe Bryant Reached Out To Shaquille O'Neal's Son Shareef Hours Before Death
Kobe Bryant messaged Shaquille O'Neal's son, Shareef, hours before his tragic death on Sunday.
Bryant was killed alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other passengers on board a helicopter which crashed in Los Angeles yesterday.
Following the news, Shareef revealed a message the LA Lakers legend had sent him earlier that morning.
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This first picture were messages from THIS MORNING!!! .. I wish I didn't sleep in so I could've talked to you .. I can't even think straight right now.. I'm glad we got to bond over the years .. not only were you a great uncle you were a coach and a mentor to me too .. I love you man..thank you for everything you've done .. for this city , for the basketball world , and for me ... I won't let you down .. you always counted on me and lifted me up. Love you unc :heart: :heart:
In the message sent on Instagram at 8:29am local time, Bryant asked the 20-year-old: 'You good fam?'
Shareef replied: 'Yeah. Just been getting this work in trying to figure out my next move. How you been?'
However, Bryant did not respond before the helicopter crash later that day.
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I'm crying while reading these messages over ... even when I was at my worst you checked in on me so often .. I really appreciate you for that because I needed that so much.... i was so defeated sittin in that hospital everyday and I thought my basketball life was over .. you brought a smile to my face .. thank you . Love you
O'Neal had been playing for UCLA but announced he would be leaving the university earlier this week.
The youngster also missed his freshman year last year following open-heart surgery.
Bryant and Shareef's father, Shaquille, were teammates for eight years at the Lakers and won three NBA championships together.
'Shaq' also took to Twitter on Sunday to mourn the loss of one of his closest friends and greatest teammates.
The world of sport has been shook to the core following Bryant's death and tributes have poured in.
PSG superstar Neymar dedicated his goal against Lille to Kobe last night by gesturing the No.24 (Bryant's iconic Lakers number) before praying and pointing to the sky.
Games in the NBA continued on Sunday but players were visibly shaken following the news.
Houston Rockets center and California-native Tyson Chandler was seen in tears at courtside during his team's game against the Denver Nuggets.
Tyson Chandler clearly heartbroken. Not sure how these players are able to focus on the game. #Rockets pic.twitter.com/QlO0ByjsEI
- Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) January 26, 2020
Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving opted to sit out of his side's game against the New York Knicks, citing 'personal reasons'.
The sporting world has lost an icon who will never be replicated.
Rest In Peace, Mamba.
Featured Image Credit: PA