Shaquille O’Neal told a great, funny story during the emotional Kobe Bryant eulogy on Monday at Staples Center. He even dropped a "motherfu****" in there, which shouldn't be surprising to anyone who heard his acceptance speech when he got into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Shaq and Kobe were the deadliest one-two punch in basketball. A guard and a center who could match up against any team. But, it was Shaq's team and his show - something Kobe had to evolve under. There were times when young Kobe wanted more and would shoot every time he got the ball. The most common criticism of Kobe's game became a problem in the locker room.
This didn't sit right with the rest of the team, so they came to complain to Shaq about Kobe not passing the ball. Shaq said he would handle it and talk to Kobe. What happened next, Shaq described as the moment Kobe earned his respect.
“Just get the rebound, he's not passing.”
A vintage Kobe response, and proof that Shaq always respected Kobe's attitude towards the game. It takes one to know one, and Shaq knew he had a champion as a teammate. There came a time when both buys wanted to prove they could do it without the other guy, but it wasn't for lack of respect. Shaq also told Kobe that he would take care of his family and teach his daughters all of Kobe's moves. He then added an important piece of information.
“Don't worry, I won't teach them my free throw routine”
As Shaq said, they had their ups and downs, as every family does. They were brothers who loved each other more than we knew. That love didn't disappear with Kobe's passing - it only grew stronger.