Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis died at the age of 82 on Saturday. In the wake of his death, many sports figures and teams have reflected on his life and on the legacy that Davis leaves behind.
Current USC head coach Lane Kiffin served as the head coach for the Oakland Raiders from 2007 to 2008. Kiffin released the following statement about Davis: "I was very saddened this morning to learn of the passing of Al Davis. He was an iconic figure in the history of professional football and built a truly legendary franchise with the Raiders. I consider myself fortunate to have known him and to have been a part of that Raiders history. Even though our relationship did not end the way I would have liked, I have nothing but respect for Mr. Davis and I truly appreciate the opportunity he afforded me and so many young coaches, players and staff. My thoughts go out to his family and the family and fans of the Raiders past and present."
Kiffin did not leave Oakland on good terms, ultimately being fired and replaced by Tom Cable after posting a 5-15 record. Regardless, Kiffin- like many other people- came to respect Davis during their time together. During his 38 years with the Raiders, Davis earned the admiration of those he worked with while leading Raider Nation.
The Golden State Warriors also released a statement about the death of Davis, ending with: "In its simplest form, Al Davis' vision was for the Raiders and their fans to experience the best and, with three Super Bowl rings to his credit, he delivered on multiple occasions. He will be missed by the entire sports world and especially in the Bay Area, where we had the opportunity to watch his great legacy unfold. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Davis family and the entire Raiders organization."
The statement shows just how big of an impact Davis played in sports. Beyond just football, Davis became an integral part of the Bay Area and influenced sports culture in the area. His presence enriched the entire region, and his loss will definitely be felt on several fronts. Though Davis is gone, his legacy and the principles by which he led his team will be remembered for a long time.