49ers Pro Bowler Richard Sherman
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The loss of Kobe Bryant is hitting everyone hard. At the podium Monday night, San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman opened up about it and kept it real, as usual.

Sherman called it an “unfortunate” and “really sad” tragedy. He shared that Bryant was “a friend of mine” and “a mentor,” and that he “meant a lot to this world.” He said that he was extremely sad on Sunday after the news broke, but that Bryant would tell him to “stop being a baby” and “man up” as he prepares to play in Super Bowl LIV.

Then, he said he is going to “go out and try to play some dominant ball” as he tries to embody the “Mamba Mentality” and win the game for Bryant.

Speaking further about Bryant, Sherman shared that he “meant a lot” to him personally and was a big influence on him growing up in Compton. He also shared that the reason he walked off the field with a torn Achilles is that he saw Bryant do the same.

Sherman also told reporters he is going to need a lot of time to process the loss of Bryant, a sentiment shared by us here as well.

Here’s a full video of Sherman’s interaction with the media discussing Bryant on Monday night during Super Bowl Opening Night.