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Retired basketball player Shaquille O’Neal apparently bought a laptop for a man who offered his condolences for Kobe Bryant’s passing.
Patrick Martin was at a Best Buy store in McDonough, Georgia, on January 30 when he spotted the 47-year-old former NBA star wandering the aisles.
During his basketball career, O’Neal played for the LA Lakers alongside Bryant, who passed away on January 26 in a helicopter accident. Together, the pair were conducive in helping the Lakers win three straight championships from 2000-2002.
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There are no words to express the pain I’m going through now with this tragic and sad moment of loosing my neice Gigi & my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie. I love you and you will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW !
Aware of the relationship between O’Neal and Bryant, Martin decided to approach the basketball player in Best Buy and offer his condolences for the loss of his former teammate, as well as for O’Neal’s sister, Ayesha, who died in October after a battle with cancer.
Martin recalled the interaction in a post on Facebook, explaining he and a friend were on the hunt for a new laptop when they ran into the 47-year-old star.
The Facebook user said he and his friend ‘walked off’ after speaking to O’Neal, but the retired basketball player found them again and decided to thank them for their kind words.
According to Martin, the NBA star told the two shoppers he ‘liked’ them before offering to buy Martin’s new laptop for him.
The fan wrote:
We walked off, then Shaq comes to us and says, I like yall, so get the nicest one in here and I’ll pay for it.
Martin’s post included a picture of him shaking O’Neal’s hand, as well as an image of a brand new Microsoft Surface laptop, which was presumably the device Martin had settled on.
O’Neal’s act of kindness has been widely praised by other Facebook users, with people describing the NBA star as ‘amazing’ and ‘generous’. Martin was also commended for offering kind words to the basketball player, with one Facebook user pointing out many people would only be interested in getting a selfie with the star.
Earlier this week, O’Neal shared a heartbreaking tribute to Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, who also lost her life in the helicopter accident.
The post read:
Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man. That was what we had most in common. We love our families.
Whenever we got together I would hug his children like they were my own and he would embrace my kids like they were his. His baby girl Gianna was born on the same day as my youngest daughter Me’Arah.
I miss you already brother. This is truly unbelievable. Everyone please keep the Bryant’s [sic] in your prayers.
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Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man. That was what we had most in common. We love our families. Whenever we got together I would hug his children like they were my own and he would embrace my kids like they were his. His baby girl Gianna was born on the same day as my youngest daughter Me’Arah. I miss you already brother. This is truly unbelievable. Everyone please keep the Bryant’s in your prayers. R.I.P
The exchange between Martin and O’Neal shows how small acts of kindness can go a long way.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
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