“I did idolize Kobe Bryant. I studied him, wanted to be like him. He was our Michael Jordan. I watched Michael toward the end of his career with the Wizards and seen that’s what Kobe emerged as the guy for us.

I’ve been disappointed this year because you guys (the media) treated him like shit. He’s a legend and all I hear is about how bad he’s playing, how bad he’s shooting, time for him to hang it up. You guys treated one of our legends like shit and I didn’t really like it. 

Hopefully now you can start being nice to him now that he decided to retire after this year. It was sad the way he was getting treated. 

He had just an amazing career, a guy who changed the game for me as a player mentally and physically. Means so much for the game of basketball. Someone I’m always gonna look for advice on anything. Just a brilliant, brilliant, intelligent man. Sad to see him go. He put his mark on the game.”

- Kevin Durant.