Shaquille O'Neal broke down in tears during a TNT tribute to Kobe Bryant, which took place at the Staples Center on Tuesday.
O'Neal opened up about his grief after losing one of his closest friends:
"I haven't felt a pain that sharp in a while [...] We, our names will be attached together for what we did. People always ask about our relationship, and I tell them it's just like me and Charles [Barkley]. You got two strong-minded people that are going to get it done that way ... going to say certain things, but the respect will never be lost, but when it comes to being inside the lines and winning, that is what me and him, that is what we did."
The tribute was attended by Dwyane Wade, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Ernie Johnson, Reggie Miller, and Jerry West.
"The fact that we are not going to be able to joke at his Hall of Fame ceremony, the fact that we are not going to be able to say, 'Ha, I got five. You got four [championships],'" O'Neal continued. "The fact that we are not going to be able to say if we would have stayed together, we could have gotten 10 ... those are the things you can't get back. With the loss of my father and my sister ... that is the only thing I wish, I could just say something to them again."
O'Neal lost his sister in October 2019.
"My condolences go out to his family, his mom and dad and sister and other families, everybody involved," O'Neal said. "Lakers organization, I talked to Jeanie and Linda, people here are hurting, especially this organization. Some people have to get [counseling] treatment. Some people don't understand. I didn't want to believe it.
"I hoped some buttface made this up, and it's not true. I didn't want to believe it .... my spirit just left my body. I just wish I could be able to say one last thing to the people that we lost because once you're gone, you are gone forever, and we should never take stuff like that for granted."