Great loss’: Orlando Magic, LA Clippers coaches react to Kobe Bryant’s death

Great loss’: Orlando Magic, LA Clippers coaches react to Kobe Bryant’s death
Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Kobe Bryant's death Sunday was "a great loss." (Reinhold Matay/Associated Press)

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.

“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..

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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.

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.