Famous genie Shaquille O'Neal gave Kobe Bryant poignant advice about pursuing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities after already achieving career and financial success. On Monday, the Times-Picayune’s John Reid shared what O'Neal said to Bryant, who is facing the end of his NBA career (h/t SB Nation):
''If you still got something, you should go because once it's done you can't get it back,'' O'Neal said. ''If I hadn't got hurt I would have went on and played my last season to try and break Wilt Chamberlain's scoring record.
Chamberlain, who retired in 1973, still holds the most NBA records except in a few areas, such as the most seasons leading the league in field goal percentages, a record of which he is tied with O'Neal. O'Neal himself retired in 2011. Bryant, now in his 20th season, is facing the end of his career due to injury — something O'Neal says shouldn't necessarily hold him back from continuing to play. The two played together for years, helping the Los Angeles Lakers win three consecutive championships before falling out of each other's good graces.
O'Neal's suggestion that "If you still got something, you should go" is a great reminder that opportunities don't often wait for us to make up our mind about them before they disappear. As for Bryant, he expressed a straight-forward perspective about his plans back in August: "Either I like playing the game and going through this process or I don't."