Photo: KEVORK DJANSEZIAN/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Clippers’ head coach Ty Lue was a close friend of Kobe Bryant. Since Bryant’s tragic passing in a helicopter accident last January, Lue has admitted he has not dealt well with the reality of his friend’s death.

(via Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN):

“Just being able to try to get past it,” Lue said. “I don’t really deal with death well. I always try to forget about it. It is just something that is tough for me, especially [with] someone I was so close to… I took down all the pictures in my room, in my house, I don’t have them in my office.”

“Still to this day, just tough,” Lue said. “When you look and just watch clips when they are showing stuff from old games or commercials, it is just tough for me to see.”

Lue spent his first three seasons of his NBA career with Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. He won the 2001 NBA championship with the team having to guard the-then-league MVP Allen Iverson.

The former Cavaliers coach will try to win his second title as a head coach this season, after winning his first with the Cavs in the 2016 Finals against the 73-9 Warriors.