Shaquille O’Neal was in Denver for Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night, and while he did an excellent job of breaking down the Heat-Nuggets matchup, his special moment before the game had NBA fans getting emotional.
The NBA TV pregame show reminded Shaq that June 4 was the 23rd anniversary of one of his most memorable plays with the great Kobe Bryant—way back in the 2000 Western Conference finals, when Bryant threw a perfect alley-oop to Shaq during the Lakers’ riveting Game 7 comeback win over the Trail Blazers.
After watching a highlight of the play, Shaq shared how much he misses Bryant:
“Of course it was a happy moment, but if I could trade that moment and have him sitting here with us, or be able to text him and say, ‘Look, Kobe, can you believe this happened 23 years ago?!’ That would be better for me.”
NBA fans felt the same:
Still can’t believe my Goat is gone smh https://t.co/YC1BsV8AhF— Yung Simba (@BrandNewGuy_92) June 5, 2023
All love. Miss u Kobe. https://t.co/FdaRPlI2Pg— the hat diary 🎮 XBOX1 (@JWengerART) June 5, 2023
He really misses his guy. We all do https://t.co/ZSkXstMWvg— Ryan Forsyth (@rizzo_forsyth) June 4, 2023
STILL remains my favorite moment in Lakers history... Everything came together for Shaq-Kobe duo in this moment and they never looked back with three titles on the horizon https://t.co/GOTTx1nMQz— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) June 4, 2023