News of Kobe Bryant’s death sent shockwaves across the sports world Sunday afternoon.
Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria were among those killed in a California helicopter crash. Many athletes mourned the loss, while the San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors opened their game by each taking a 24-second shot clock violation.
Doc Rivers, who coached the Boston Celtics in 2008 when they defeated the Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA championship, was incredibly emotional ahead of the Clippers’ game against the Orlando Magic on Sunday.
Rivers was asked about Bryant and fell silent before delivering some touching words through tears.
“I guess I don’t have a lot to say,” he said, per NBATV. “The news is just devastating to everybody who knew him. I’ve known him a long time and he means a lot to me, obviously. He was such a great opponent. It’s what you want in sports. He had that DNA that very few athletes can ever have. The Tiger Woods’. The Michael Jordan’s. It’s funny, I was getting to know him more since he retired. This is a tough one. I don’t know. We have to go play. The news is just devastating for (wife) Vanessa and his family. It’s just so many people he touched. Looking at my young players and seeing how emotional they are, they didn’t even know him. It just tells you how far his reach was. This is just shocking news for all of us. I’m sorry I don’t have a lot to say. I have to go talk to a team and before a game and tell them to play a game.”
You can watch the emotional presser below:
“He had that DNA that very few athletes can ever have.”
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) January 26, 2020
Thumbnail photo via Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports Images