The loss of Kobe Bryant is hitting basketball fans hard, but the NBC legend’s death at age 41 has been particularly devastating for his former Lakers teammate Shaquille O’Neal.
On Tuesday, O’Neal was broadcasting on “Inside the NBA” when he was overcome by emotion while talking about Bryant, who died alongside his 13-year-old daughter in a helicopter crash on Sunday.
Bryant wasn’t just O’Neal’s teammate, he was also a close friend, which was more than clear during the broadcast.
“To watch this incredible family grow and prosper, and now to see not one, but two, but three families gone … saddest day of my life,” he declared.
Admitting “I lost a little brother,” O’Neal added, “Our names will be attached together for what we did.”
Former Lakers GM Jerry West, who signed Bryant when he was just a teenager, was also on hand to share his memories. He too became overcome by grief.