WATCH: Shaq Talks About the First Time he Met Kobe Bryant, 20 Years After The Duo Won Their First NBA Title

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal will always remember the first time he met the Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant. Shaq appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s late-night talk show on Friday and talked about the first encounter with Kobe and the first NBA title they won. This was actually the first time that the two talked publicly about the death of the Black Mamba.

Bryant died on January 26, and eight other people lost their lives in the tragic accident outside Los Angeles, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. There’s an investigation into the helicopter crash, and the official report will be out in several months. Hopefully. Kobe’s wife, Vanessa, filed a lawsuit against the helicopter company. She wants someone to face the consequences of the terrible crash.

Let’s go back to Shaq. Fallon asked the Hall of Famer about his first encounter with the great Kobe. It was emotional and Shaq got to remember their early days. His story started with Penny Hardaway and the autograph attempt.

Shaq will always remember Kobe and the first NBA title they won

One can’t really imagine the Black Mamba being blown off by a player gave us something to think about. A lot of NBA fans got to discuss some old memories. Shaq turned his story into a big message for all the Kobe fans out there. He loved Kobe and respected his pal. Yes, Shaq admired Kobe and his competitiveness. He respected his desire to win games. That’s what made him special.

“What I remember early on is that he wanted the spot, he wanted to be the best,” Shaq told Fallon.

The big man also complimented Fallon. You have probably noticed that he calls him “Larry Bird.”

Kobe will always be remembered as an excellent player who has won six NBA championships. He lost his life too soon. Many young NBA players looked up to him, and his legacy is still alive. Every NBA player will keep it alive. The Black Mamba had so much to offer, and players accepted each and every piece of advice.

Kobe was a regular at the sidelines at the Staples Center. Well, he chose to miss some of the games because he wanted to spend more time with his family.