ATLANTA — NBA all-star and Georgia resident Shaquille O'Neal is heartbroken after learning his former teammate Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash Sunday morning.
Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter were reportedly among the nine passengers on-board the aircraft when it crashed in Calabasas,California.
O’Neal, who played alongside Bryant on the Los Angeles Lakers between 1996 and 2004, went to social media to share heartfelt memories of the two.
“There are no words to express the pain I’m going through now with this tragic and sad moment of loosing my neice Gigi & my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie. I love you and you will be missed,” O’Neal wrote.
Bryant, 41, was reportedly traveling with his daughter Gigi to basketball practice, along with another family. The pilot was also killed.
‘My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW,” O’Neal continued.
O'Neal made another post saying that he and Bryant bonded over being fathers and family men.
"That was what we had most in common. I would hug his children like they were my own and he would embrace my kids like they were his. His baby girl Gigi was born on the same day as my youngest daughter Me’Arah," O'Neal wrote.
Bryant was a mega-star in NBA history. He was a five time NBA Champion, 18-time NBA All-Star, and four-time NBA All-Star Game MVP. Bryant was also the fourth-highest scoring point leader in NBA history.
Many of Bryant’s peers, including Atlanta Hawks players Vince Carter and Trae Young posted tributes online.
Carter tweeted his condolences saying "RIP to a legend SMH".
Kobe Bryant crash site pictures
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