Kobe Bryant may have retired but his legacy within the NBA, and especially the L.A. Lakers, lives on.
The franchise head into a season without Bryant for the first time since 1995, but the younger players will be much better off following a season or two working alongside one the game's all-time greats.
D'Angelo Russell had a rollercoaster rookie season but looks primed to excel under new head coach Luke Walton having put all of his off-court troubles behind him.
Speaking to Fox Sports ahead of the new campaign, the point guard explained that meeting Kobe for the first time was the last instance in his life where he felt truly star struck.
He said: "I remember the first time I met him, I was working out in the corner of the practice gym and everybody was like: "Kobe's coming today" -- which was a big thing because he really never came through until two or three weeks in.
"Then he showed up and I was like: 'wow, that's Kobe Bryant...' he had this smirk on his face I'll never forget but it makes a ton of sense now because no-one knew he was retiring yet."