Bryant, who retired in 2016 after a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, died Sunday along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas. He was 41.
He left a monumental mark on the NBA, the Lakers and the city of Los Angeles. Figures from the Lakers and the NBA mourned his passing as news broke.
I’m feeling numb – words can’t describe the impact Kobe has had on the world, LA, and the Lakers – not to mention the influence he had in my life as someone I grew up idolizing. I loved him – and send my condolences to all the families who lost someone today. RIP
— Joey Buss (@Jbuss) 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. pic.twitter.com/9EZuwk8wrV
— Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (@kaj33) January 26, 2020
— doc rivers (@DocRivers) January 26, 2020
To all of my friends, thank you. Each of you have shared part of yourself with me and made my life better. I have tried to do the same. If you were here I would hug you like I just hugged my family. It hurts that it takes a tragedy to remind us of our mortality.#hugyourfriends
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) January 26, 2020
Beyond devastated… my big brother… I can’t, I just can’t believe it
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) January 26, 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
Sunday’s games were played but not without tributes to Bryant. And the NBA issued a statement on his death.
Remarkable moment to start the Raptors-Spurs game. pic.twitter.com/thmt9ZU1Ra
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 26, 2020
The Clippers took a 24-second violation, the Magic took an 8-second violation in honor of Kobe Bryant. 8 and 24. Wow. pic.twitter.com/4n06iWbbLx
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) January 26, 2020
Both the Pelicans and Celtics took 24-second violations to start tonight's game to honor No. 24, Kobe Bryant. pic.twitter.com/8EOBQkB5zX
— ESPN (@espn) January 26, 2020
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement today regarding the passing of Kobe Bryant pic.twitter.com/P88GwIwmYV
— NBA (@NBA) January 26, 2020
Bryant’s profile transcended basketball, impacting athletes in other sports and popular culture at large.
— P.K. Subban (@PKSubban1) January 26, 2020
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of @kobebryant, as well as to the entire Lakers family. This is a horrible tragedy. Kobe was one of the best to ever play the game of basketball. May he Rest In Peace.
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) January 26, 2020
Kobe Bryant was a giant who inspired, amazed, and thrilled people everywhere with his incomparable skill on the court — and awed us with his intellect and humility as a father, husband, creative genius, and ambassador for the game he loved. pic.twitter.com/hkb0lbRwie
— Mayor Eric Garcetti (@MayorOfLA) January 26, 2020
15 hours ago man… I actually cannot believe this. Praying for his family and close friends. Hoping it’s not true https://t.co/WI9UuuTGQ8
— Cody Bellinger (@Cody_Bellinger) January 26, 2020
My heart is in pieces hearing the news of this unimaginable tragedy. I can’t fathom what the families are going through. Kobe meant so much to me and to us all. Sending my prayers, love, and endless condolences to Vanessa and the family and anyone who lost someone on that flight.
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) January 26, 2020
Today we mourn the loss of our friend Kobe Bryant. Sending our thoughts and prayers to the Bryant family. ♥️ pic.twitter.com/fwT4yj7Ud7
— Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) 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
Fans gathered Sunday afternoon to grieve outside of Staples Center, where Bryant played his home games and the Grammy Awards were scheduled to take place Sunday night.
Just surreal at Staples Center – Kobe’s face on every screen as hundreds of people seem to just want to be somewhere they can cry together. Also: The Grammys are here tonight so there is the odd person wandering around in a tuxedo.
None of this feels real. pic.twitter.com/esukv1yNZs
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) January 26, 2020
His death reached across the Nevada border, too, prompting tweets from Gov. Steve Sisolak, the Las Vegas Aces and Aces power forward A’ja Wilson.
It was heartbreaking to learn of the tragic helicopter crash in CA that took the lives of 5 individuals, including Kobe Bryant & his 13yo daughter. Kathy & I send our sympathies to the family & friends of the victims as well as the Kobe fans in CA, NV, & all around the world. https://t.co/LAclLlqftG
— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) January 26, 2020
— Las Vegas Aces (@LVAces) January 26, 2020
This can’t be real 💔 pic.twitter.com/9qESxzFQnm
— A'ja Wilson (@_ajawilson22) January 26, 2020