Kobe Bryant, NBA legend passed away on Sunday in a helicopter crash in suburban Los Angeles.
The crash was the result of foggy weather, and killed all nine people on board and plunged the sports world into mourning. Among the nine, was Kobe's 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other passengers and crew when their Sikorsky S-76 helicopter slammed into a rugged hillside in Calabasas, west of Los Angeles.
Bryant was a five-time NBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in history. He was an iconic figure who became one of the faces of his sport during a glittering two-decade career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
As news of his death broke, fans from current US President Donald Trump to former President Obama, to Indian cricketer, Virat Kohli, to Ellen Degeneres, people all over the spectrum and fans reached out to mourn the loss.
Reports are that basketball great Kobe Bryant and three others have been killed in a helicopter crash in California. That is terrible news!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2020
Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 26, 2020
Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man. That was what we had most in common. I would hug his children like they were my own and he would embrace my kids like they were his. His baby girl Gigi was born on the same day as my youngest daughter Me’Arah. pic.twitter.com/BHBPN5Wq8V
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) January 26, 2020
Jeannine & I are absolutely shocked to hear of the loss of one of my favorite people & one of the best basketball minds in the history of the game! Our hearts & prayers to Vanessa & his girls. @kobebryant you were my biggest fan, but I was yours #RIPMAMBA @NBA @espn @SLAMonline pic.twitter.com/Ll0BD6VWgr
— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) January 26, 2020
"Most people will remember Kobe as the magnificent athlete who inspired a whole generation of basketball players. But I will always remember him as a man who was much more than an athlete," said Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, six-time NBA champion and league's all-time scoring leader.
Most people will remember Kobe as the magnificent athlete who inspired a whole generation of basketball players. But I will always remember him as a man who was much more than an athlete. pic.twitter.com/9EZuwk8wrV
— Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (@kaj33) January 26, 2020
Like everyone, I’m stunned, shocked and saddened to hear the horrific news about Kobe Bryant and his 13 year old daughter who died in a helicopter crash. Thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this extremely sad time ! #RIPKobeBryant
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) January 26, 2020
Heart going out to the Bryant family right now. ❤️. RIP @kobebryant
— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) January 26, 2020
Like everyone, I’m stunned and saddened by the news about Kobe Bryant. My heart is broken for his wife and family.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 26, 2020
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Absolutely devastated to hear this news today. So many childhood memories of waking up early and watching this magician doing things on the court that I would be mesmerized by. Life is so unpredictable and fickle. His daughter Gianna passed away too in the crash. Iam absolutely Heartbroken. Rest in peace. Strength and condolences to the family 🙏
Kobe was a real life super hero on that court & I’m sure he was one to his family. Sending love and prayers to them. This is heartbreaking.
— Bruno Mars (@BrunoMars) January 26, 2020