LOS ANGELES—Amid a massive outpouring of acclaim from fans, fellow athletes, and media members ahead of his retirement, players on the Los Angeles Lakers admitted to reporters Thursday that they are kind of curious what it must be like to be inspired by Kobe Bryant. “I keep hearing all these players on other teams and athletes from other sports talk about how much they were motivated by Kobe’s work ethic and competitive drive, so I can’t help but wonder what that would feel like,” said Lakers power forward Brandon Bass, adding that he has trouble even imagining Bryant as someone who he looks up to and tries to replicate. “I mean, Kobe is clearly helping people push themselves to be better and strive to achieve great things—it’s just kind of hard to wrap my head around that one.” Many Lakers players noted, however, that they “totally understand” the deluge of hatred aimed at Bryant from opposing fans throughout his 20-year career.

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