Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal told a story about his late teammate Kobe Bryant at his memorial on Monday in which he dropped the word “motherf---er.”

O’Neal told the crowd at the Los Angeles memorial that he had received complaints from other basketball players that the late Lakers star didn’t pass the ball enough. 

“I said, ‘Kobe, there’s no I in team,’” O’Neill said. “And Kobe said, ‘I know, but there’s an M-E in that motherf---er,’” prompting laughter from the crowd and O’Neill himself. 


O’Neal called the story “the day Kobe gained my respect.”

O’Neal played with Bryant on the Lakers between 1996 and 2004; Bryant spent his entire NBA career with the Los Angeles team.

Bryant died in a helicopter crash last month, along with his daughter Gianna, 13, and seven others. His wife Vanessa Bryant filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the helicopter company Monday, accusing the pilot, Ara Zobayan, who was among the dead, of negligence and failure to “use ordinary care in piloting the subject aircraft.”

Proceeds for the memorial service will be donated to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, dedicated to Kobe and Gianna Bryant.