The world was plunged into mourning as news of Kobe Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash spread leaving everyone stunned. The depth of the basketball icon’s popularity quickly surfaced as reports were confirmed that the LA Lakers great lost his life in a helicopter crash along with daughter Gianna and seven others in a remote field near the city of Calabasas.
As the deaths were confirmed social media exploded in grief while television programming was interrupted to report on the tragedy with video showing smoke billowing from the crash site as first responders put out the flames.
Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant, a basketball prodigy who went on to win five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, died in a helicopter crash in California https://t.co/9lxGzVSHLs pic.twitter.com/7oIjDfzST4
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 26, 2020
Here are a few reactions:
Kobe Bryant, despite being one of the truly great basketball players of all time, was just getting started in life. He loved his family so much, and had such strong passion for the future. The loss of his beautiful daughter, Gianna, makes this moment even more devastating….
— 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.
Shell Shocked. RIP #BlackMamba
— Mahesh Bhupathi (@Maheshbhupathi) January 27, 2020
The LA Galaxy are devastated and saddened by the news of the passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna. Our thoughts are with the families affected by this tragedy as we mourn with the city of Los Angeles and the global sports community. pic.twitter.com/JgmGBQQeQe
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) January 27, 2020
There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW pic.twitter.com/pigHywq3c1
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) January 26, 2020
— NBA (@NBA) January 26, 2020
So sad to hear the heartbreaking news of the deaths of Kobe and his daughter Gianna. Kobe was a true legend and inspiration to so many. Sending my condolences to his family and friends and the families of all who lost their lives in the crash. RIP Legend?? pic.twitter.com/qKb3oiDHxH
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) January 26, 2020
Dia triste pra nós dos esporte, pra nós fãs e principalmente pra família e amigos de kobe. Com suas mãos se fez lenda, obrigado por exaltar o esporte Kobe… que Deus conforte o coração de sua família e amigos ?????? #ripkobebryant #24 pic.twitter.com/QPjIy7Fhou
— Neymar Jr (@neymarjr) January 26, 2020
Also known as the ‘Black Mamba’, Bryant garnered several accolades in his entire 20-year career, which include five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals.
A moment of silence was also held before Sunday’s game in Denver between the Nuggets and Houston Rockets. The public address announcer ended the tribute with “Rest In Peace, Mamba.”
However, the Lakers star will always be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.
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