Shaq admits he is 'super jealous' of Kobe Bryant's retirement tour

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The dichotomy between Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant is arguably the most well-publicised relationship in the history of sports.

Their lineage includes three NBA titles as one of the most dominant duo's to ever grace the hardcourt. However, it also includes countless spats and internal turmoil that eventually saw their time as Los Angeles Lakers teammates cut short in 2004, where O'Neal departed for the Miami Heat.

The dominant center would go on to win one more NBA championship while Kobe collected another two with the purple and gold and the two have grown to become friends now that O'Neal is retired and Bryant is staring his last NBA game in the face.

The Black Mamba has been enjoying a rapturous retirement tour where the 18-time All-Star has been cheered on the road even harder than the home side.

It's been an emotional ride for Bryant, and the last stop is under 10 days away when the Lakers face the Utah Jazz, fittingly, at the Staples Center.

O'Neal plans to be there for Bryant's final steps on the NBA hardwood, but on an episode of his podcast due to air next week, Shaq admitted he was jealous of the fanfare Kobe has enjoyed in his final year since injuries robbed him of that chance.

"I'm super jealous," O'Neal said, as quoted by Andrew Joseph of For the Win. "I wanted a Shaq tour, man. I did. Like, I never said this but this is killing me."

Superman spent his final two years in Boston where injuries to his legs would eventually force the big man to call time on his storied career.

Because of his injury woes, he never got the big send-off tour a 19-year veteran, who is seventh in all-time points scored and third in all-time field goal percentage, truly deserved.

"So, you know, I had two years in Boston," he said. "I got hurt my first year, but the second year, we were going to plan a whole Shaq tour. I'm super jealous. I wanted a Shaq tour."

"I wanted to just go to the city, and people see me play my last game," O'Neal said. "I did. I'm like - at first I tried to suck it up, but I can't. It's killing me."

To be fair, who wouldn't want the adulation that Kobe has enjoyed in his final season?

Part of the reason that has made Bryant's retirement tour so special is the unwavering loyalty he has to the Lakers organisation.

O'Neal played for six different franchises during his career and maybe he didn't go out the way he wanted to, but some glorious consolation lies in Diesel's announced induction into the 2016 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this past weekend.

Kobe Bryant
L.A. Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference

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