Seattle Seahawks Cornerback Richard Sherman Has "Always Admired" Kobe Bryant's Work Ethic

Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman opens up on his admiration for Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who earlier this week announced he would retire from the NBA after this season.

In the moments that followed the Seahawks' 39-30 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Richard Sherman was quick to fire off a pair of tweets.

The first tweet thanked the 12s, who brought the noise during the team's Week 12 win and set a CenturyLink Field attendance record of 69,055.

The second tweet thanked NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, who in the middle of this past Sunday's game announced he would retire from professional basketball at the end of the 2015-16 season.

The latter tweet was a talking point at Sherman's weekly meeting with the media on Wednesday at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center, where the All-Pro cornerback who earlier in the day was nominated for the NFL's Man of the Year Award for his off-field work with his Blanket Coverage Foundation was responding to a question about his post-football aspirations.

"I might coach for a little while, but more than likely just going to talk football," Sherman said. "I'm going to continue to help people off the field, to give back as much as I can, but yeah, career-wise, talk football."

A reporter followed up, "Do you think you'd do T.V. stuff?"

"Yeah, I think I'm going to go general because I want to talk basketball, too," Sherman added. "Speaking of basketball, Kobe, we appreciate you. Thank you for everything you've done for basketball. My goodness, man. That's my favorite player ever. He's retiring, that's a hard day for us."

The Compton, Calif. native Sherman said his fandom for Bryant began when he was just eight years old. His grandmother would often sit him down in front of the television and make him watch the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant was one of the team's best players, so Sherman quickly became a "huge fan" and called Bryant his "favorite player from the beginning."

"Just always admired his work ethic and the way he approached the game," Sherman said of the 37-year-old Bryant, who has helped the Lakers win five NBA titles over his 20-year career. "The determination, the competitiveness. He seemed like one of those guys that if he had a seven-year-old daughter he'd beat her in basketball just to say he won, you know? He's not going to let anybody just win, and I always admired that about him."

Sherman said he's developed a relationship with Bryant the past couple years after the two standout athletes met at a photo-shoot following Seattle's Super Bowl win. Bryant even took part in a celebrity softball game benefiting Sherman's foundation that same year.

"He said he was a fan of mine, which put my heart in my stomach, you know?" Sherman said. "I was just super nervous and super happy to see him. But that was a big deal for me and I told him how much I appreciated everything he brought to the game and his work ethic and his mentality because I think it rubbed off on me in some ways.

"I think at the end of the day you never know who you're touching with your game or with your approach or with your passion. So you should always play as hard as you can and show who you truly are every play because you never know who's watching. I try to continue to take that approach to my game."

A look back at NBA superstar Kobe Bryant's time spent playing in Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman's celebrity softball game benefiting his Blanket Coverage Foundation.

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