Watch CBSN Live

Kobe Bryant messaged Shaquille O'Neal's son Shareef hours before fatal crash

Kobe Bryant cherished time with family
Kobe Bryant cherished time with family 02:50

Hours before the tragic helicopter flight that took his life, Kobe Bryant sent a text message to Shaquille O'Neal's son, Shareef. The UCLA player shared a screenshot of the exchange the two shared on Instagram early Sunday morning.

"You good fam?" Bryant asked Shareef around 8:29 a.m. local time.

"Yeah!," he answered at 10.25 a.m. "Just been getting this work in trying to figure out my next move. How you been?"

Bryant's helicopter went down around 10 a.m. He was killed in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others

"I wish I didn't sleep in so I could've talked to you. I can't even think straight right now," Shareef wrote in his caption. "Not only were you a great uncle you were a coach and a mentor to me too. I love you man. Thank you for everything you've done."

Shareef O'Neal/Instagram

Shareef also shared a number of photos of Bryant and him throughout the years, as well as a throwback picture of his father and Bryant during their time with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Shaquille, who won three championships with Bryant, tweeted saying there were "no words" to express his pain in losing Bryant and his daughter. 

He later added: "Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man. 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."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.