LOS ANGELES, Calif. (WTNH) — Kobe Bryant, the former star of the LA Lakers and legend in the sport, died Sunday morning (local time) in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles.
Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was also killed in the accident.
Bryant was well-respected in the sport and well-loved by an enormous amount of people across the world.
Bryant’s long-time Lakers teammate and friend, Shaquille O’Neil, tweeted, “There’s no words to express the pain I’m going through with this tragedy of loosing my niece Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed.”
Shaq: “I’M SICK RIGHT NOW”
Several other Lakers greats and former teammates also shared their feelings of grief about Bryant’s untimely passing.
Over the course of Bryant’s career, a debate consistently raged over the title of greatest NBA player of all time between Kobe supporters and fans of Michael Jordan. Jordan issued a statement through his representative Sunday remembering Bryant.
Friend, former NBA player, and former Bryant USA National Team teammate Dwayne Wade tweeted only “God please No!”
WEB EXTRA: Friends, teammates, rivals, celebrities, and fans react to the death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter
Paul Pierce, former Boston Celtics player, and Bryant’s biggest basketball rival tweeted, “This is not real right now.”
Former U.S. President Barack Obama lamenting, “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.”
Slam Magazine was essentially THE basketball magazine while Bryant was an active NBA player, posted a picture of Bryant and Gianna.
Jessica Hill of The Associated Press tweeted two photos of Bryant and Gianna at a UConn basketball game in Storrs, CT taken only last March.
Actor, singer, and The View host Whoopi Goldberg tweeted Sunday about the news of Kobe’s death, “Hero to many including my grandson, extraordinary athlete and always kind to me and my family.”
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady tweeted, “We miss you already, Kobe.”
Sports Illustrated posted a tribute on twitter to Bryant’s appearances on the cover of the magazine throughout his basketball career.
The Pro Bowl held a moment of silence Sunday for Bryant’s death: “…the crowd begins chanting ‘Kobe, Kobe!'”
Scottie Pippen, NBA Hall of Famer and NBA champion wrote that he was stunned: “Words can’t even come close to describing.”
At a Spurs and Raptors game Sunday both teams took 24-second violations to start the game in honor of Bryant’s #24.
Singer Drake posted an artistic tribute to the basketball superstar on Instagram: