The last couple of days have been all about the late great Kobe Bryant. From his 42nd birthday on Sunday to yesterday’s Kobe Bryant Day – everything was gravitating towards No.24.
Social media platforms were no exception, as we’ve witnessed an outpouring of tributes related to the Lakers’ legend. Fan-made murals, Rubik’s cube mosaics, online video compilations – those were all means of showing appreciation and admiration for one of the all-time greats.
One fan-made artwork, in particular, caused an emotional boom with Kobe fans all around the globe. It was an image of Kobe and Shaq, that painted the perfect picture of former teammates growing old together.
Shaq himself had seen the artwork and couldn’t help but having an emotional outburst to the fact that growing old with his former teammate was taken away from him.
Somebody posted a picture of old me and old Kobe. I contacted him, and I got it blown up. I got like three or four-five wishes. I wish my sister was still here, and I wish my father was still here. But I wish this could be us in the future. Us talking about good old times and my grandson doing this and my grandson vs. your grandson. I just wish this moment could be true.Shaquille O’Neal, Inside the NBA
It’s no secret Shaq was having a hard time dealing with Kobe being gone. From his first public reaction to the tragic news to his speech at the memorial – Shaq seemed broken. It really did seem like he couldn’t fathom the fact his friend was no longer with us. And seven months later, it still seems like he can’t, especially during periods like this, when Kobe’s name gets brought up more often than usual.
Well, you’re not alone, Diesel. The whole NBA world can’t wrap their heads around the fact that No.24 is no longer with us. And it’s not about the time that has passed; it’s about the fact itself. And to be honest, I don’t see it ever becoming a reality people will fully grasp. Not for Shaq, not for any NBA fan in the world.