Shaquille O’Neal recently caught up with the guys over at Drinks Champs to talk about a ton of topics. One of which was his friendship with Kobe Bryant. Shaq expressed regret towards not getting a chance to connect with his friend before he passed in 2020. That year proved to be trying for Shaq, and he opened up about his experience with loss and regret.
During his discussion with N.O.R.E., Shaq discussed “goats” in entertainment. While declaring Jay-Z the greatest rapper of all time, Shaq said that in his field, his laker team was the best. Unfortunately, Allen Iverson blocked him from that honor. While discussing the missed opportunity, Shaq opened up about other players he had the pleasure of sharing the court with. He talked about Jordan dunking on him disrespectfully and having to lay him out the second time. Jordan told him, “don’t help me up,” when he tried to help him up.
Jordan also taught him that “before you succeed, you must be ready to fail.” Shaq said he internalized that, and it taught him a lot over the years. He said he learned a valuable lesson in all of that and realized that really respecting someone but showing them no respect is the highest honor. Shaq was later asked if God came to him and offered him one final game to play, would he choose Kobe, Jordan, or Lebron as his components. Without hesitation, Shaq said Kobe. “When you have friends, and you have discrepancies, you should always reach out to that friend,” he began his explanation.
Shaq says he worked 21 hours a day and was always the guy who never really called anymore.He is learned that he can no longer do that with people and learned a valuable lesson following the passing of Kobe and his sister. Shaq’s sibling Ayesha Harrison-Jex died at the age of 47 following a battle with cancer. She had been dealing with cancer for three years. Ayesha was laid to rest next to her father Phillip Harrison, who passed away in 2013.
His cohosts on Inside the NBA expressed how heartbroken they were for their brother, who was inconsolable at that moment. “I’m trying to put into words the way Shaquille has reacted to this, and he’s struggling,” Ernie Johnson said. “And when he struggles, we struggle with him. Because he’s one of our brothers, and we feel for him tonight.”
Shaq told the hosts of Drink Champs that he used to always say, “I’ll call her tomorrow, imma go buy this business. And then you wake up, and they’re not here.” Shaq says he feels the same way about Kobe. He wishes he could see his late team player again and argue, joke, and play one more time. “I would love to have that. To all the people out there, if you got discrepancies with someone, just reach out.”
While N.O.R.E tried to find out what happened between Kobe and Shaq, the NBA vet clarified that there was no problem at all and that the two friends just had their differences.