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The former NBA superstar and current analyst told the TBS host of Conan that 2020 has been a tremendously hard year for him with the deaths of his sister and Kobe Bryant.
Shaq says he was in denial when he learned his Lakers teammate Bryant, along with Bryant’s daughter and seven other people, were killed in a helicopter crash Jan. 26, so he closed himself off from everyone.
“When he passed away, I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I watched every playoff game that we ever played. I just sat in my room and told people, ‘I don’t want to talk to anyone.’ And I am just looking at him [on film] like it can’t be true because he is right there on the screen.”
Bryant was posthumously elected to the NBA Hall of Fame. Shaq told O’Brien he doubts he can handle watching the ceremony but will if Bryant’s widow or his parents speak.
Shaq also again addressed appearing on the popular Netflix series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, reiterating he only made donations to the zoo and was not friends with docuseries subject Joe Exotic.
“America, I do not harm animals. I love animals,” he said.
Watch the entire interview below.
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