Shaquille O'Neal Honors "Little Brother" Kobe Bryant at Emotional Memorial: "You're Heaven's MVP"

The late NBA legend and his daughter Gianna were remembered during a star-studded "Celebration of Life" at Los Angeles' Staples Center.

Kobe Bryant's former Los Angeles Lakers teammate Shaquille O'Neal on Monday took the stage at Staples Center to pay tribute to the late NBA legend during an emotional memorial service.

"Like all of you, I continue to be devastated over the loss of my friend, my little brother, Kobe Bryant, and my beautiful niece Gigi," O'Neal said, adding that "all of us were forever changed" after the Jan. 26 helicopter crash that killed Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others.

"Kobe was a loving friend and true renaissance man," O'Neal continued, calling out Bryant's love for his wife, Vanessa, and their other daughters Natalia, Bianka and Capri.

O'Neal said of the decorated basketball player, "You're heaven's MVP."

O'Neal also spoke about the myth that he and Bryant did not get along during their time together on the Lakers. "As many of you know, Kobe and I had a very complex relationship," he said of their "rivalry."

"Kobe and I pushed one another to play some of the greatest ball of all time," said O'Neal. "Sometimes, like immature kids, we argued and we fought, or we insulted each other with offhand remarks. But when the cameras were turned off, he and I would throw a wink at each other and say, 'Let's go whoop ass.'"

He added, "In truth, Kobe and I always maintained a deep respect and a love for one another."

O'Neal also dropped an F-bomb while telling an anecdote about the time he told Bryant he needed to pass the ball more: "I told Kobe, 'There’s no 'I' in team,' and he said, 'I know, but there’s a 'M-E' in that, motherfucker.'"

Bryant's memorial also included emotional remarks from his wife Vanessa and friend Jimmy Kimmel, along with powerful performances from Beyonce, Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera. The entire Lakers team and numerous current and former NBA stars were in attendance, including Bill Russell, Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. 

Bryant played for the Lakers for two decades, becoming a five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star. During his career, he became the Lakers' leader in points scored, games played, three-pointers, steals and free throws. Bryant was the first NBA player to spend 20 years with one franchise.

Along with Bryant and his daughter, seven others were killed in the helicopter crash: Orange County Coast College coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their daughter, Alyssa; Payton Chester and her mother, Sarah; youth basketball coach Christina Mauser; and helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan.