LOS ANGELES -- Kobe Bryant's teammates, as well as opponents, reacted Sunday to the announcement from the Los Angeles Lakers star that he will be retiring at the end of this season, Bryant's 20th in the NBA.
Lakers forward Julius Randle:
"For me, it's sad. It's a celebration of him, but for me, it's sad, because I grew up and that was my hero growing up. I tried to do everything like him. He's my idol, so for me, it's sad."
Lakers guard Nick Young:
"It was sad. Sat here in the room, and you all make it a little more sad when you watch the Kobe 'fro and the transform, and it's tough to see him go out like that, because it's no more Kobe. And that's like the face of the Lakers. Kobe's been a Laker for 20 years. It's like, 'Hey, Russell, Julius' -- that's some tough shoes to carry. Kobe put up a lot of buckets out here and a lot of rings and y'all young boys better be prepared."
Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson:
"I probably go back to my first game as a rookie. I think we played the Houston Rockets. He told me before the game, no matter how many minutes I play, try to fill up every column you can -- rebounds, steals, assists. Just go out there and compete and leave all your energy on the floor. Just try to do whatever you can to help the team."
"Kobe was my [Michael] Jordan. I didn't really have any moments of watching Jordan, but Kobe was my Jordan; watching him win championships. I remember just being at home watching the games with my mom, my grandma, my dad, [and] just idolizing him. After the game was over, I'd go in the front yard and try to imitate everything that I just saw. So he was, in my eyes -- not saying he's better than Jordan -- but, for me, growing up, that's who I idolized and look up to. That was the standard. He was the best player and it wasn't close."