Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant won three NBA championships together, becoming one of the NBA's top duos.
Following the news of Bryant's sudden death, O'Neal addressed the situation, writing on Twitter, "There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice (sic) Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW."
In early January, O'Neal was asked on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon," who would win in a 2-on-2 game if he and Bryant faced off against LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
"Yes. Hell yes. Of course [we'd win]," O'Neal said.
Others from throughout the sports world were shocked to learn of Bryant's death.
The Raptors and Spurs took intentional shot clock violations to open their Sunday afternoon game to honor No. 24.
Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna was also with him when the helicopter crashed, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters that nine people were on board the aircraft—the pilot plus eight people.
The helicopter went down in the hills of Calabasas and a fire broke out. The crash occurred around 10 a.m. and the fire made it difficult for firefighters and emergency personnel to get to the aircraft, according to the city of Calabasas.Nobody on the ground was hurt.
More Coverage of Kobe Bryant's Death:
- Kobe Bryant, Daughter Die in California Helicopter Crash
- For the Bryant Family, An Unimaginable Loss
- Kobe Bryant Left His Mark as a Generational Hero
- Sports World Reacts to Kobe Bryant's Sudden Death
- Remembering Kobe Bryant: Sports Illustrated Covers Through the Years
- Spurs-Raptors Open Game With Shot Clock Violations to Honor Kobe
- Shaq Reflects on Kobe's Passing: "There’s No Words to Express the Pain"