As news of Kobe Bryant’s shocking death spread on Sunday, countless tributes poured in for the former Los Angeles Laker as people expressed their horror and sadness over the basketball great’s sudden death.
Bryant, 41, died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, along with eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. Bryant was married to his wife Vanessa for more than 18 years, and the two had four children.
“There’s no words to express the pain I’m going through now with this tragic and sad moment of loosing my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie,” former teammate Shaquille O’Neal wrote on social media, alongside photos of him with Bryant.
“I love you brother and you will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW !” he added.
Fellow NBA greats Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also expressed their horror at Bryant’s passing.
“Words can’t even come close to describing it. Just an incredibly sad and tragic day,” Pippen tweeted.
Syracuse men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim said Bryant was “the hardest working player I’ve ever been around.”
“I was so fortunate to have known him and coached him with Team USA,” Boeheim wrote. “Our thoughts and our prayers are with his wife, Vanessa, and the Bryant family.”
President Donald Trump and former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton also honored the NBA star.
“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,” Obama said.
“Kobe brought excitement and joy to basketball fans not just in Los Angeles, but all over the U.S. and around the world. He was also a leader off the court, including in his advocacy for young people, especially the vulnerable and homeless,” Clinton told CNN in a statement. “Kobe Bryant lived a very large life in a very short time.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.