Shareef O’Neal, the son of Shaq, was one of the many devastated following the passing of Kobe Bryant. O’Neal previously revealed that Bryant sent him a text message just hours before the fatal helicopter crash that took the lives of the future Hall of Famer, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others.
The message from Kobe simply read, “You good fam?”
Shareef was supposed to see Kobe later in the day at a game at the Mamba Sports Academy.
Since the moment he received the message, Shareef has made sure he remembers it every day by setting a screenshot of the message as the background on his phone.
“I look at it every day,” Shareef told Sports Illustrated. “It’s a special moment. It’s crazy that three hours before that he texted me asking if I’m good. He was always checking in on me. I was literally going, I would’ve seen him that day because I was going to the same place he was going. It’s crazy. It’s still unbelievable.
“There’s always those people in life you look at like superheroes and that nothing bad can ever happen to them. It’s still unbelievable to me, I still don’t even want to believe it. It’s just crazy to think about. It races through my mind, but it made me focus more. I feel like it’s changed my basketball drive to times 10. I’m gonna do it for him because I know he’d want me to do well. He always told me he wanted me to do well. It’s crazy, but I’m gonna play for him.”
Shareef also went on to get a Kobe Bryant tribute tattoo.