Shaquille O’Neal Shared Hilarious Story About Kobe Bryant At Memorial

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Leave it to Shaquille O’Neal to get the crowd laughing at Kobe Bryant’s memorial service.

Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were honored Monday at Staples Center. They were two of the nine who died in a tragic helicopter crash outside Los Angeles on Jan. 26. O’Neal was one of many who shared touching tributes about Bryant throughout the service.

The Hall of Famer came to the Los Angeles Lakers right before Bryant was drafted in 1996. The two were teammates for eight seasons until Shaq jumped to the Eastern Conference to join the Miami Heat ahead of the 2004-05 season.

So, naturally, O’Neal had plenty of Bryant stories to share when he took the podium. But there was one story that lifted everyone’s spirits: the day Bryant gained his respect.

“The guys were complaining, saying, ‘Shaq, Kobe’s not passing the ball,’ I said, ‘I’ll talk to him,'” O’Neal recalled, per TSN. “I said, ‘Kobe, there’s no ‘I’ in team.’ He said, ‘I know, but there’s an ‘M’ ‘E’ in that (expletive).'”

When it came time to report back to his teammates, O’Neal’s message was very simple.

“Just get the rebound. He’s not passing it.”

Bryant and O’Neal led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Bryant went on to win two more titles in 2009 and 2010 in L.A., while O’Neal picked up another title with the Heat in 2006.

O’Neal wasn’t the only one who got the crowd laughing during the service, though. Michael Jordan cracked a “crying meme” joke during his Bryant tribute.

The full service can be watched below:

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