Paul George is a California native, which means he knew all about late Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant growing up. On Monday, a public memorial service for Bryant was held at the Staples Center and current and former NBA players were in attendance to pay their respects to him as well as his 13-year old daughter Gianna who as they both died in a helicopter crash nearly one month ago along with seven other people. George, who plays for the Los Angeles Clippers, did not attend the service and told reporters why he chose not to go.
"I'm not good with that kind of stuff, so I didn't go, but I watched every second of it on TV," he said. It's just remarkable, his journey, his career, the people he touched... It's on us to continue that legacy... I'm forever moved by it."
George also talked about how he followed Bryant's career closely since he grew up in Los Angeles County.
"Again, it's just remarkable," he said. His journey, his career, the people he touched — talk about the top A-list of A-list people at his memorial. Just his impact and he’s a Californian and Los Angeleno, a byproduct of him being here."
20,000 fans were at the Staples Center to remember Bryant. There were a number of former players in the building including Michael Jordan who is considered the best player of all-time. Jordan spoke at the event and talked about how Bryant was a brother to him.0comments
"You know all of us have brothers and sisters who for whatever reason always tend to get in your stuff, your closet, your shoes, everything," he said. It was a nuisance if I can say that word. But that nuisance turned into love over a period of time just because the admiration that they had for you as big brothers or big sisters. The questions - they're wanting to know every little detail about the life they're about to embark on.
"He used to call me, text, me, 11:30, 12:30, 2:30, 3 in the morning talking about post moves, footwork, and sometimes the triangle," Jordan added. At first, it was an aggravation. But then it turned into a certain passion. This kid had passion like you would never know. It's an amazing thing about passion. If you love something, if you have a strong passion for something, you would go to the extreme to try to get it."