It has been a few months since the tragic passing of former Los Angeles Lakers star guard Kobe Bryant. The transition toward coming to terms with that reality has been difficult for many that personally knew Bryant. Among those has been former longtime teammate Shaquille O’Neal. He has been quite open with his emotions concerning his once Lakers teammate in the time that has followed his heartbreaking loss alongside his daughter Gianna and seven others.
In the time since Bryant’s passing, the NBA has declared that he will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer in the 2020 class. In light of that, O’Neal has made it clear that he won’t be watching the ceremony due to his emotional hardships that will come with that.
Kobe Bryant announced as part of 2020 Hall of Fame class
In the time that has passed since Bryant has passed, it has been challenging to work through.
Earlier this month, the emotions were riled up once more after it was revealed that he would be a first-ballot Hall of Famer as part of the 2020 class alongside the likes of Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan. Bryant had a well-decorated career that warranted this honor as he established himself as one of the greatest players in NBA history.
Bryant has numerous personal accolades, such as being an 18-time All-Star, a five-time NBA champion, a two-time NBA Finals MVP, an 11-time All-NBA First Team selection, nine-time All-Defensive First-Team member, and three-time All-Defensive Second Team selection, among others. He also holds many Lakers’ all-time record while placing himself four on the all-time regular-season scoring list and fourth on the all-time postseason scoring list.
With soon to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, it’s an event that one of his teammates will have a tough time watching it.
Why Shaq won’t watch Kobe Bryant’s Hall of Fame ceremony
Bryant is receiving a much-deserved honor this year in his first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame.
However, it will be a tough scene as Bryant won’t be able to give that speech himself for that career-defining recognition. In light of that, O’Neal has voiced on “The Big Podcast with Shaq” that he won’t be watching his former teammate’s ceremony due to how difficult it will be to view it. (h/ Shanna McCarriston of CBS Sports)
“I’m actually not going to watch the Hall of Fame ceremony. On the scale of sadness from 1 to 10, I’m finally at least at a 2 now… That would bring it back to a 7, 8, 9 and I can’t right now. So I don’t want to see old highlights that I’m already watching now.”
Although O’Neal won’t be watching the event live, he did suggest that it would be a wise more to either have Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, or one of his parents give a speech. He also voiced that he would like to see a hologram of the late Lakers star.
At the same time, it will be challenging throughout as Bryant touch many lives throughout his illustrious career. The two Hall of Famer may have had their issues on the court together in Los Angeles; there is still a tremendous level of respect and admiration that the two shared for each other and O’Neal’s response to the entire situation further cements that.
It’s hard to believe that there will be a dry eye in attendance at the Hall of Famer ceremony given the significant impact he has had on the game and the NBA.
Shaq, Kobe hold ultimate respect for each other
During their tenure together, Bryant and O’Neal had tiffs on and off the court through the media.
What was never lost in the process was the respect and admiration that each toward each other. Bryant and O’Neal were two first-ballot Hall of Fame talents that put together an incredibly successful tenure together.
That is something that remained prevalent between them over the years, and that’s something that O’Neal, among many others, will carry toward Bryant. The Hall of Fame induction will provide another chance to showcase that admiration once again.