April 09, 2020
Retired professional basketball player Shaquille O'Neal took to social media to pay a touching tribute to the late Kobe Bryant on the occasion of his induction into the Hall of Fame.
Shaquille O'Neal is a retired professional American basketball player who is now a sports analyst on the television program, "Inside the NBA on TNT."
He is considered one of the greatest players in the National Basketball Association (NBA) history, and his career spans 19 years of playing for different teams, including the Lakers and Miami Heat.
NBA player Shaquille O'Neal attends a press conference for ABC's new reality show "Shaq Vs." held at the Lowes Hotel on August 5, 2009 in Santa Monica, California. | Photo: Getty Images
The 48-year-old retiree took to his Instagram page two days ago to congratulate the late Kobe Bryant and two other NBA players on their induction into the hall of fame.
The post featured a series of throwback pictures of himself with the new inductees. The first photo saw him dressed in a Lakers uniform, leaning on a trophy, with Bryant's arm around his neck.
The next photo featured him in a Celtic's uniform alongside Kevin Garnett, and the following one saw him in a Lakers outfit lifting a trophy alongside Tim Duncan, who had on a Spurs uniform. Captioning the post, Shaq wrote:
"I want to take this time to congratulate @kobebryant, Kevin Garnett @tic_pix & Tin Duncan, in being inducted into The Hall of Fame."
The Athletic's Shams Charania first reported news of the induction. The induction ceremony is scheduled for August 29 in Springfield, Massachusetts.
However, if the ongoing pandemic requires it to be postponed, the service will be moved to October.
Vanessa has kept up public appearances while trying her best to look strong for her daughters.
During an ESPN broadcast, Bryant's wife, Vanessa, shared that she wished he was alive to celebrate this in person. She added that induction is the peak of his career and expressed pride in his achievements.
Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the Hall of Fame, has stated that several effective measures will be taken to make sure that the inductee's achievements don't get overshadowed by the tragedy of Kobe's death or the ongoing pandemic. Colangelo said:
"We are going to do this the right way, and in a very sensitive way, we want everyone to get their due respect."
Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash along with Gianna, his daughter, and seven others. Since his death, Vanessa has kept up public appearances while trying her best to look strong for her daughters, Natalia, 17, 3-year-old Bianka, and 7-month-old Capri.
The talented athlete and Vanessa tied the knot in April 2001 — he had been 22 at the time, while Vanessa was 18.