Shareef O’Neal reveals why he has last text from Kobe Bryant as phone background
As part of a recent interview with Bleacher Report, Shareef O’Neal explained why he is using the last message he received from Lakers legend Kobe Bryant as the background image on his phone.
Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash just outside Los Angeles back in January at the age of 41. Sadly, all nine passengers on the flight, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, perished in the tragic accident. Several reports that have since been confirmed indicate that the group was on its way to The Mamba Sports Academy, where Kobe was to serve as a coach for his daughter’s basketball team.
Kobe sent out a few text messages before his passing. One of these messages was to O’Neal, who is the son of Lakers icon Shaquille O’Neal. Shareef says he is using Bryant’s words as inspiration:
“My phone background is just literally that message and I look at it every day because … it just motivates me,” O’Neal said, via Bleacher Report.
Like many others, O’Neal says he still struggles with the thought of Bryant, a close family friend, being gone:
“I still to this day, I don’t want to believe it,” Shareef said of Kobe’s passing.
Shareef opens up to @brhoops about receiving one of Kobe's last text messages and how Kobe's death impacted him: “My phone background is just literally that message and I look at it every day because … it just motivates me.” pic.twitter.com/xQPoWCRPqs
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 8, 2020
A five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star, the former Lakers superstar will be remembered as one of he greatest athletes to have ever dribbled a basketball. Even now, up-and-coming players around the globe often model portions of their play style after his. And though he was taken too soon, his Mama Mentality will live on forever.