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Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal Hanging Out With Kendrick Lamar in an Intimate Performance Resurfaces

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal Hanging Out With Kendrick Lamar in an Intimate Performance Resurfaces

In December 2017, the Los Angeles Lakers honored Kobe Bryant by retiring both jersey numbers that he donned during his incredible 20-year run with the franchise. The five-time NBA champion’s presence courtside inspired the team, as they pushed defending champions Golden State Warriors to the limit. However, after the Lakers could not pull off the upset win, he exited the arena with his family to enjoy another gift, a private Kendrick Lamar show.


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In a clip from the party, Bryant was seen having a great time and shaking a leg alongside wife Vannessa, while Kendrick rapped a SFW version of his smash hit song, ‘Humble.’ While the couple were on the dance floor, his former teammate Shaquille O’Neal was on the stage, talking to the MC and the DJ.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope air-balled the potential game-winner and the Lakers blew a golden opportunity to beat the reigning champions. While some believe that Bryant and his family exited the Arena because his daughters had school the next day, others say that he was disgusted by his favorite team’s performance. But it seems his exit after the final buzzer was preplanned as he had to attend a private concert by his dear friend.

Kobe Bryant and Kendrick Lamar’s friendship

Basketball superstars and hip-hop artists being friends has been a common occurrence since both became mainstream in the 1980s. However, Kobe Bryant and Kendrick Lamar’s friendship runs a bit deeper. In an interview with Complex Magazine, the Lakers icon was asked if there’s a player that closely resembled the rapper’s personality. Without hesitation, Bryant replied,

“Yeah, it was me! It’s the same hunger. You step out there on the court, we’re taking heads off… I don’t wanna hear, ‘Michael [Jordan’s] the best player in the world. I don’t wanna hear, ‘They call him Black Jesus.’ I don’t want to hear that. You have to show me!”

Bryant’s explanation rings true, especially today, given what transpired between Kendrick, J. Cole, and Drake. The ‘Humble’ hitmaker rejected the idea that the trio formed the ‘Big 3’ of rap and claimed he was a cut above them in his verse on Future’s song ‘Like That.’ His self-confidence reflected Bryant’s ‘Mamba Mentality,’ and showcased why the Lakers icon answered himself when asked whom the rapper reminded him of.

Kendrick’s relationship with Bryant made him the perfect candidate to do the voiceover for Nike’s iconic ‘Just Be Better’ advertisement featuring snippets of wisdom from the late icon after his passing. The rapper and the basketball icon were not seen publicly often, but the limited clips of their interactions suggest the two shared a close bond.

Post Edited By:Sameen Nawathe

About the author

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar


Jay Lokegaonkar is a basketball journalist who has been following the sports as a fan 2005. He has worked in a slew of roles covering the NBA, including writer, editor, content manager, social media manager, and head of content since 2018. However, his primary passion is writing about the NBA. Especially throwback stories about the league's iconic players and franchises. Revisiting incredible tales and bringing scarcely believable stories to readers are one his main interests as a writer.

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