Retired NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal says he will donate the proceeds of his upcoming Super Bowl event to honor former Los Angeles Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant and eight others killed in Sunday’s helicopter crash.
O’Neal on Wednesday said he’d be “dedicating and donating” funds raised by his Shaq’s Funhouse Super Bowl Party in Miami on Friday in memory of Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the other crash victims.
“Been going back and forth the past couple of days on if I should even have my event in Miami this weekend,” O’Neal wrote on Instagram. “Part of me wanted to stay to myself as I reflect what my brother and his family mean to me and my family.” But Bryant, he continued, “would want us to push through and celebrate life. So lets do just that.”
O’Neal said all proceeds from his party would be donated to the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Foundation and to the families of the others who died: John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan.
“Together we will celebrate all those who lost their lives in Sundays tragedy. RIP my brother, my friend and my homie. The Black Mamba. Until we meet again,” O’Neal wrote in the emotional post.
The Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Foundation, launched in 2006, is “dedicated to improving the lives of youth and families in need,” according to its website. The website directs potential donors to the Mamba Sports Foundation.
Vanessa Bryant, in a heartbreaking post on Instagram earlier this week, implored people to “honor our Team Mamba family” and donate to the Mamba Sports Foundation, which she said “has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy.”
O’Neal has been vocal about how Bryant’s death has affected him. He revealed on his podcast this week that he’s called friends with whom he had disagreements to settle any outstanding beefs.
“Look, I’m all about being hard and all that, but after yesterday, I’m going to have to delete my beef and my confrontation clause,” O’Neal said during his podcast, “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” recorded Monday. “I don’t want to do that anymore because, you know, you never know.”