Kobe Bryant sent a text message to Shaquille O'Neal's son, Shareef, just hours before he died.
Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others were the victims of a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California on Sunday.
"Literally this morning you reached out to me," O'Neal said on Twitter alongside a screenshot of the message. "I love you forever unc. I love you."
The screenshot showed Bryant messaged the 20-year-old saying "You good fam?" at 8.19 a.m. on the morning of the crash.
Kobe Bryant sent a text message to Shaquille O'Neal's son, Shareef, just hours before he died in a tragic helicopter crash.
Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others died in the crash near Calabasas, California on Sunday.
Shareef, whose father was a former teammate and longtime friend of the late 41-year-old, shared their brief encounter on Twitter just hours after the news of his death broke.
"Literally this morning you reached out to me," he wrote alongside a screenshot of the text. "I love you forever unc. I love you."
The screenshot showed Bryant had messaged him at 8.19 a.m. on the morning of the crash, saying: "You good fam?"
Shareef replied saying: "Yeah! Just been getting this work in trying to figure out my next move. How you been?"
He never received a reply.
The 20-year-old, a college basketball star who most recently played for the UCLA Bruins, then posted a number of other emotional tributes to Bryant and Gianna.
He also posted a video of his father and Bryant, and a photo of Bryant's famous Los Angeles Lakers jersey, which hangs above his bed.
"Right above me every night I go to sleep," he said. "I'm going to play through you."
Soon after, Shaquille O'Neal posted a tribute of his own, saying: "There's no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my niece Gigi & my brother @kobebryant.
"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. I'M SICK RIGHT NOW."
O'Neal and Bryant played together at the Lakers between 1996 and 2004, a period in which they helped the team win three back-to-back NBA championships.