Shaq reveals regret about relationship with Kobe Bryant: 'We both should have called'

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By , Audacy Sports

Basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal is the subject of a new four-part HBO docuseries titled "SHAQ," due out on Nov. 23.

The retrospective has the Hall of Famer feeling wistful about certain aspects of his storied life in the game -- including his famously fraught relationship with late teammate and sometimes frenemy Kobe Bryant.

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Although O'Neal and Bryant had reconciled after feuding as teammates, Shaq conceded during a recent interview with PEOPLE ahead of the HBO show's release that he still has some regrets about his relationship with the Black Mamba.

"You put off [getting in touch]," O'Neal told the magazine for its latest issue, due out on Black Friday. "I'll never get to see Kobe again, in real life, forever. And I just should have called. He should have called. We both should have called. But he's working, I'm working, so it's 'I'll see you when I see you.'"

Both men maintained relatively busy schedules after their playing days, sometimes making it difficult to keep in touch. Shaq wistfully admits he was complacent and assumed they would always have time to reconnect more frequently down the road.

"[I thought], 'We're both going to get old. We'll both be at the 50-year Lakers anniversary.' Other things shouldn't have been more important [than getting in touch], but little things [got in the way]."

The sobering reality of Kobe's tragic passing has left Shaq with a greater sense of urgency regarding relationships.

"Call your mom. Call your brother. Call the homeboy you used to party with in college. Forever is a long time."

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