ORLANDO, Fla. — Coaches from the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Clippers had emotional reactions to the death of NBA icon Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash Sunday in California.
The Orlando Magic is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Kobe Bryant. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Bryant family, the L.A. Lakers and the other victims of today’s tragedy and their families.— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) January 26, 2020
We will observe a moment of silence before tonight’s game.#RIPMAMBA pic.twitter.com/VwMzx4AKy5
“He means a lot to me, obviously. You know, he was such a great opponent. You know, that’s what you want in sports,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said in a news conference after the Clippers defeated the Magic, 112-97..
Rivers was very emotional during the interview, WFTV reported. He had a hard time talking about Bryant and what he meant to him and the NBA. Rivers described Bryant's death as a "great loss."
“Just so many people he touched. Looking at my young players and seeing how emotional they are, they didn’t know him. It just tells you how far his reach was,” Rivers said.
Doc Rivers could not hold back the tears when talking about #KobeBryant and what he meant to him and the @NBA. pic.twitter.com/7CGZtjssg8— Christian Bruey (@CBrueyWFTV) January 26, 2020
Magic head coach Steve Clifford said it was too soon to talk about what Bryant meant to him. Clifford spent the 2012-13 season with the Lakers and called the news “tragic."
“It’s an honor to even have to been, just to be around him for one season," Clifford said.
Steve Clifford didn’t want to get into what Kobe Bryant meant to him and the year he spent with the Lakers in 2012-13. He said it’s too soon to think about that and called the news “tragic.” #Magic #KobeBryant #RIPKobe pic.twitter.com/Uj46zqxjHZ— Christian Bruey (@CBrueyWFTV) January 26, 2020