Instagram | @shareefoneal

Shaquille O'Neal's Son Reveals Kobe Bryant's Last Message To Him Just Before Helicopter Crash

Hours before the tragic death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, the 41-year-old reached out to the son of longtime friend and former teammate Shaquille O’Neal, Shareef O'Neal.

College basketball player Shareef O'Neal has grown up alongside Bryant because of his father Shaquille O'Neal's close relationship with him on and off the court.

Instagram | @shareefoneal

O'Neal and Bryant played on the LA Lakers basketball team together for many years.

Shareef called Bryant his "uncle" and grew up closely with his children as well.

Instagram | @shareefoneal

Upon hearing the initial reports of the helicopter crash that killed Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others, Shareef was in disbelief.

Getty Images | Kevin Winter

"Wait..." he tweeted.

Shaereef's shock was palpable.

The 20-year-old then took to social media to share DM's from Bryant from that very morning.

"This first picture were messages from THIS MORNING!!! .. I wish I didn’t sleep in so I could’ve talked to you .." he wrote.

"I can’t even think straight right now.. I’m glad we got to bond over the years .. 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 .. for this city , for the basketball world , and for me ... I won’t let you down .. you always counted on me and lifted me up. Love you unc," he concluded.

Shareef went on to share more DM's from Bryant over the years.

"I’m crying while reading these messages over ... even when I was at my worst you checked in on me so often .. I really appreciate you for that because I needed that so much.... i was so defeated sittin in that hospital everyday and I thought my basketball life was over .. you brought a smile to my face .. thank you . Love you," he wrote.

He then tweeted in memory of Kobe's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.

Instagram | @kobebryant

"GIGI, love you cousin," he wrote with a heart emoji.

Shareef suggested a "Kobe parade" in LA.

The tweet got nearly 280,000 likes.

"I'm going to play through you," he tweeted, alongside a photo of Bryant's jersey hanging above his bed.

"Right above me every night I go to sleep."

Shareef then tweeted a picture of the MVP All Star's trophy that Bryant gave him after he and O'Neal won MVP together.

He retweeted a fan's video discussing the gift Bryant gave Shareef.

"I still got the trophy," he tweeted.

"I'mma hold this forever."

LeBron James has also broken his silence on the passing of his close friend and fellow NBA legend.

"I’m Not Ready but here I go. Man I sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had! I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to LA. Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have. WTF!! I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!!," he wrote.

"Man I love you big bro. My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids. I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man! You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation. and it’s my responsibility to put this [expletive] on my back and keep it going!!"

"Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here! There’s so much more I want to say but just can’t right now because I can’t get through it! Until we meet again my brother!! #Mamba4Life#Gigi4Life," he concluded.