A few nice words got a couple of fans a gift from Shaquille O'Neal.
Patrick Martin was in an Atlanta-area Best Buy with Anna Cornelious, searching for a laptop when they saw the basketball legend shopping. Instead of exposing the Hall of Famer to the expected fandom, Martin and Cornelious remembered that O'Neal is grieving the loss of Kobe Bryant and his sister, Ayesha Harrison-Jex. As a result, they decided to share some words of kindness, let Shaq know that they're sorry for his losses, and walked off without asking for anything in return.
"So me and Mo just went to Best Buy to buy a laptop and we meet Shaq," Martin wrote on Facebook. "We gave our condolences for his sister and Kobe."
Shaq could sense their genuine nature from the short exchange. This led the Big Aristotle to reward them by paying for their laptop.
"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 continues.
The death of Kobe Bryant sent shockwaves through the NBA. Shaq was deeply affected by his death because of all the experiences they had together. As members of the Los Angeles Lakers, the duo went to four straight NBA Finals together, winning three. Although they've had their rifts, Shaq said their relationship was "one of brothers."
Kobe's death closely follows the passing of his younger sister, Ayesha Harrison-Jex. Harrison-Jex passed away in October 2019 at the age of 40 following a three-year battle with cancer.
During a special episode of Inside the NBA focused on remembering Bryant's legacy, Shaq became overwhelmed by emotion when talking about his sister and Kobe. Seeing the most dominant player in NBA history reduced to tears was enough to move other players and fans.