Shaquille O'Neal Remembers Kobe Bryant at Michael Rubin's Fanatics Super Bowl Party along with Kevin Hart

Shaquille O'Neal and Kevin Hart remember Kobe Bryant at a pre-Super Bowl party.

Michael Rubin’s Fanatics Super Bowl party became a venue for yet another tribute to the late NBA star Kobe Bryant.

Among the 1500 party guests was Shaquille O'Neal friend and former team-mate of the recently deceased former basketball player, and comedian Kevin Hart.

Bryant's death in a helicopter crash on January 26 left the sports world in shock

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal at an NBA All Stars game/ Source: Getty Images

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal at an NBA All Stars game/ Source: Getty Images


As part of a special tribute to Bryant, every single guest received a Los Angeles Lakers jersey with his name and number on it, and Shaquille gave a moving eulogy celebrating his former colleague's legacy.

Shaq wore black, and dark glasses even though the afternoon was overcast. His tribute was long, guests revealed, but he made an effort to be upbeat.

View this post on Instagram

My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on


National news commentator Van Jones, who was also present, revealed that Shaq is deeply wounded by the loss of his friend. He said:

“He (Shaq) was walking like an 80-year-old man, yet saying good things to all of the people who wanted to hang around him. He tried to be upbeat but he is hurt. He is really hurt.”

Bryant's death in a helicopter crash on January 26 left the sports world in shock. Accompanying him on the fatal flight were his daughter Gianna, 13 and 7 other people - including 2 of her teammates from the Lady Mambas basketball team.


Comedian and actor Kevin Hart, who had posted a message on Instagram expressing his shock at Bryant's passing also spoke at the party. He said:

“I just want to keep everybody in a positive, amazing place. Remember that we’re celebrating life today. If you love Kobe Bryant than today let’s put this positivity in the air.“

Shaquille had expressed doubts about attending the Super Bowl party but ended up going, stating that Bryant would have wanted his friends to keep on living.

Shaq and Kevin did their best to live up to the "Mamba" spirit, to remember Kobe Bryant. 


The tragic crash on January 26 left the families of the 9 victims shattered. Vanessa Bryant, who lost her husband and her 13-year-old daughter Gianna, has announced that she is setting up a trust through the Mamba Sports Foundation to help the families of the 7 other victims.

John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, and pilot Ara Zobayan's families will be the beneficiaries, and the NBA has made a $100,000 donation to the foundation.

Shaquille O’Neal announced that he would be donating the proceeds of the annual pre-Super Bowl party to the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Foundation and the families of the victims.

Related posts
TV Jan 29, 2020
Elle Duncan from ESPN's 'SportsCenter' Moved to Tears On-Air as She Remembers Kobe Bryant
Getty images
People Jan 28, 2020
Kobe Bryant and Daughter Gianna's Co-Passengers in Fatal Helicopter Crash Have Been Identified
Getty images
People Jan 27, 2020
Shaquille O'Neal's Son Shareef Reveals Kobe Bryant Reached out to Him Hours before Fatal Helicopter Accident
Getty images
People Jan 29, 2020
Kobe Bryant & Daughter Gigi Remembered at Mamba Cup Tournament as Kids & Coaches Kneel in Tribute in Touching Pic