(via SB Nation)

By Paul George’s own testimony, Kobe Bryant was his favorite player growing up. And though he claims to have been a Clippers fan, his love and admiration for Kobe stemmed from watching him play for 20 years.

So when George was absent from Bryant’s memorial at Staples Center, it drew more than a few questions.

In a postgame chat, George explained why he wasn’t there.

(via Tomer Azarly)

“I’m not good with that kind of stuff,” Paul George admitted after the Clippers’ win, “so I didn’t go. But I watched every second of it on TV.”

He didn’t elaborate on that statement in particular but did go on to share some words about the Mamba himself.

“Again, it’s just remarkable. 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. Again, so many people said it, it’s on us to continue that legacy. I was definitely affected by it when it first happened and I was affected again today, watching it, again. It’s something that’s never gonna seem real, but the reality of it, it did happen and I’m forever moved by it and I think so many people are too.”

A multitude of stars were present for the memorial, including Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal, Tony Parker, Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Stephen Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Dwyane Wade, and many others.

It was an opportunity for people to come together and mourn the loss of a friend and a legend.

And while it’s easy to criticize George for not being there (despite being a huge fan of Kobe), it’s important to remember that we all handle grief differently.

The hope is that all those who were affected, George included, find peace and comfort in this difficult time.

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