BALTIMORE, MD –
Shaquille O’Neal shared on his podcast Wednesday (April 15th) that he will not watch Kobe Bryan’t Hall of Fame induction.
The usually joyous occasion is expected to be emotionally heavy as Kobe Bryant’s legacy continues to be honored. The 5-time NBA champion had an unbelievably strong NBA career. It’s never been a discussion as to whether Kobe will be a “Hall of Famer”; it’s always been just a matter of time. I expected that whenever that time came, Kobe’s friend and former teammate, “Shaq”, would be by his side.
The harsh reality is that Kobe won’t be there. Understandably, Shaq won’t either.
O’neal says that the ordeal will be too sad to bear and I understand him. It’s going to be hard to grasp the idea that Kobe Bryant is not here to see himself join the Hall of Fame. In fact, basketball has been weird ever since Kobe left us. That’s how majority of us feel about it and we’ve never met Kobe. At least, I haven’t. I can just imagine the pain that Shaq has been feeling this entire time. It would be tough to experience the Hall of Fame ceremony.
“I’m actually not going to watch the Hall of Fame ceremony,” O’Neal said on his podcast. “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.”
It’s hard because this is arguably one of the best Hall of Fame classes in NBA history. Other legends like Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Tamika Catchings, and more will be inducted as well. I think that’s what makes it so gutt-wrenching because this is a moment that Kobe deserved to experience. His basketball dominance and familial legacy is so thick that even in his absence, he’ll be there in spirit.
How will he be honored?
It’s a question that we kind of don’t even have to ask anymore. We know Kobe will be honored with the utmost appreciation. Kudos to the NBA for being consistent in its appreciation for Kobe.
I hope that we’ll get some fruitful words from some of the legends on hand. Would really love to get some words from Tamika Catchings, who is a phenomenal leader to basketball. Kobe’s legacy encompassed perseverance, focus, and drive. Hopefully, whoever takes the podium will be able to convey that story to the rest of the world. “You know what would be nice? If they had a hologram. A hologram of him sitting next everybody else,” Shaq adds about the ceremony.
Think that may be in the future, Shaq.
No matter how they choose to honor Kobe, Shaq won’t be around. Honestly, I hope that he gets the room and space to heal that he deserves. “It would be great if his wife gave a speech or his mom or dad gave a speech but I’ll see that afterwards. I’m not gonna watch the ceremony.” Since he lost his friend, I don’t think we’ve given him room to heal.
Hopefully, he can get that.