Shaquille O’Neal Expresses Deep Regret Over Not Saying Everything ‘I Wanted to Say’ to Kobe Bryant

Peter Dewey
2 Min Read

Former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Shaquille O’Neal reflected on his relationship with the late Kobe Bryant.

Bryant, who died tragically in a helicopter crash earlier this year, would have been 42 years old this past Sunday.

He and O’Neal were teammates in Los Angeles and won three NBA titles together. However, O’Neal regrets not being able to telling Bryant everything he wanted to while he was still alive.

“I don’t want to see anybody go out like that and never to be able to talk to him again,” O’Neal told USA TODAY Sports about Bryant. “The thing that hurt me was all the stuff that I wanted to say, I hadn’t said it. I never said it.”

Bryant and O’Neal didn’t always have the best relationship, which played a role in the duo eventually breaking up.

However, the two buried the hatchet before Bryant passed and seemed to be as close as ever.

“There’s a myth that you have to be best friends to win championships. We only have to have one thing, and that’s respect,” O’Neal said. “If he goes to the hole with four people coming, he’s dropping it off to me. When I get double or triple teamed, I look for him first. He knows I need him. I’m damn sure he knows he needs me. I was just hurt I would never be able to tell him anything ever again.”

Players across the NBA posted tributes for Bryant, including Lakers star LeBron James.

While Bryant may no longer be alive, his legacy as one of the greatest players to ever touch a basketball will live on forever.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.