Shaquille O’Neal has motivated Kobe Bryant numerous times throughout his career – after all, he said “Just got one more than Shaq” when he won his fifth championship in 2010 – and the Big Fella seemingly continued to bring out the best in the Black Mamba right up until his final game.
According to a tweet by ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, Shaq challenged Bryant to score 50 points, and his good friend obliged.
Oh, he scored the 50, all right. And then he added on another 10 just for good measure.
Just spoke to Shaq – he said "I challenged him to get 50 and the mother****er got 60"
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) April 14, 2016
After putting on a show in front of a capacity crowd that included a game-winning jumper, Bryant hugged the likes of O’Neal and other ex-teammates who made the trip out to Staples Center, including Lamar Odom who has made a miraculous recovery since he was found unconscious in Nevada last year.
Things really went full circle Wednesday night, with many faces from the past embracing Kobe and congratulating him on a remarkable career.
And with O’Neal extending a little challenge to Bryant under the bright lights of Staples Center, it was just like old times.