You can't write the history of basketball without constantly addressing Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. Their Championship runs, the feud, the back-and-forths and obviously, their reconciliation.
Needless to say, Shaq was deeply saddened by Kobe's tragic death earlier in the year and struggled to cope with his feelings for quite a while. That's why many people speculated he could even hold the speech during his Hall of Fame's induction ceremony.
However, Shaq recently claimed that not only he won't be in attendance during the ceremony but that he won't even watch it, as he doesn't want to relive the sadness of Kobe's passing:
“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", the Big Diesel claimed during the latest episode of The Big Podcast with Shaq.
Shaq and Kobe had a complicated relationship during their careers but they were as close as they could be over the final years of Kobe's life. They shared an unbreakable bond as the most dominant one-two punch of the 2000s and one of the greatest duos in NBA history, but also a long and cherished friendship.
And considering the circumstances, we can all be sure that Kobe's Hall of Fame induction is going to be one of the saddest, most emotional moments in sports history, so we really can't blame the big man for not wanting to be a part of it right now if he doesn't feel prepared to deal with that.
Kobe's legacy will live on forever as one of the most influential human beings to ever set foot on the earth. Like Shaq, we still can't fathom his passing and it seems like it'll never stop making us take a deep breath whenever we talk about him. Mamba Forever.