);
San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan reflects on the life and impact of Kobe Bryant

San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan and Kobe Bryant shared a special bond that started before DeRozan began his NBA career.

Following the Spurs meeting with the Toronto Raptors, the LA native spoke on the tragic loss as well as Bryant's influence on the game as well as the world.

"Words can't explain the pain." DeRozan began. "For myself, learning everything that I've learned - basketball-wise - from Kobe, what he meant to the game, the inspiration that he brought to the world. Not just that, his daughter; I'm a father, I can't imagine something like that happening. It's a sad, sad, very sad day."

"Everything I've learned came from Kobe. Everything." He continued, "Take Kobe away, I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't have the love, I wouldn't have the passion, the drive. Everything came from him."

Among the many former and current players who emulated Bryant, perhaps none did so more than DeRozan who has long patterned his game after Bryant. From high school to his college days at USC and then with both the Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs, DeRozan's game was built largely on that of Bryant, one of the league's elite scorers and shot makers.

Shortly following the tip-off between the Spurs and Raptors, each team took a 24-second shot clock violation to honour No. 24.

Prior to the game, DeRozan was comforted by a number of his current and former teammates.

DeRozan and the Spurs are back in action on Monday at Chicago in the second game of a back-to-back.

The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.

More from NBA.com

HeadtoHead_NBAArticleHeader_1920x1080.jpg
Head-to-Head, Week 2: Breaking down each matchup
Kyle Irving
mitchell-power-rankings-ftr.jpeg
Clippers, Jazz climbing fast riding win streaks
Kyle Irving
Fred/Myles
Three things to watch in Raptors-Pacers rematch
Carlan Gay
When are the stars playing?
2020-21 Canadian TV broadcast schedule
NBA.com Staff
#ViewingplanFTR
Optimal viewing plan for 10-game slate
Yash Matange
bjorkgren-pacers-ftr.jpeg
Former Raptors coach Bjorkgren thriving as head coach in Indiana
Kyle Irving
More News