Kobe Bryant, Lakers legend, died Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. He was 41.
Condolences poured in upon the sports world hearing the news.
Doc Rivers, who coached against Bryant while with the Celtics, called the news devastating.
“He means a lot to me, obviously, he was such a great opponent ... it’s what you want in sports.”
Shaquille O’Neal, former teammate of Bryant’s, mourned the loss of his friend and Gianna.
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
Former Patriot Lawyer Milloy shared a photo of Bryant from Saturday. His daughter played Bryant’s team in California.
View this post on Instagram
I took this pic yesterday of @kobebryant as his team was playing my daughters team. Met him @rsherman25 celebrity softball event a few years back @tmobilepark. Gave him a few pointers on how to hit. He was even kind enough to come say hi to my family. Special moment for me. Fast forward to yesterday, I was gonna go say hi but I was that upset parent that lost to him and his daughters team for first time in three matches. Figured I’d wait until today to say hi and congrats on the victory.... Sad I didn’t get the chance. Going to @mambasportsacademy Kobe’s shift from NBA stardom to giving back to his community and his family was vividly on display. He seemed to be relishing every moment. Thanks Kobe. May you Rest In Peace! #kobe #kobebryant #nba #rip #nba #ripkobe #ripkobebryant 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾
And current Celtic Jayson Tatum posted a lengthy tribute to Bryant.
“The reason I started to play the game, the reason I fell in love with this game. Growing up wanting to be just like you, to you becoming my mentor, beyond thankful for everything you’ve done for me.”
Jayson Tatum on Instagram: “Heart broken. My Hero. My Idol. The reason I started to play the game, the reason I fell in love with this game. Growing up wanting to be just like you, to you becoming my mentor, beyond thankful for everything you’ve done for me.” pic.twitter.com/kbPjGvr2Xw— Nicole Yang (@nicolecyang) January 26, 2020
Tom Brady shared an old photo of him and Bryant at a Lakers game.
A number of Celtics expressed incredulity at the news.
Please God no...— marcus smart (@smart_MS3) January 26, 2020
Nooooooo cmon someone say it ain’t true... I’m sick to my stomach right now— Jayson Tatum (@jaytatum0) January 26, 2020
Someone please tell me this Kobe news ain’t real— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) January 26, 2020
Nah can’t be true..— Carsen Edwards (@Cboogie_3) January 26, 2020
No way ?!?! 😱— Vincent Poirier (@viinze_17P) January 26, 2020
Lord tell me it’s not true plz plz plz tell me it’s fake.— Grant Williams (@Grant2Will) January 26, 2020
No way...— Elhadji T Fall (@tackofall99) January 26, 2020
When the news was confirmed, tributes poured in.
Former Celtics also chimed in about the news.
I’m heart broken. Totally heart broken.— Cedric Maxwell (@cedricmaxwell81) January 26, 2020
Everyone in #Boston is draped in purple & gold today for #Kobe.
Prayers To the Bryant family, the #Lakers family and the entire #NBA community.
God bless. #RIPMAMBA #RIPKobeBryant #RIPKobe pic.twitter.com/raC0UcuIu0
This is not real right now— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) January 26, 2020
Speechless....😔😔😔😔🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) January 26, 2020
And NBA stars around the league expressed their sadness.
The 76ers’ Joel Embiid credited watching Bryant with inspiring his career.
Man I don’t even know where to start😭😭 I started playing ball because of KOBE after watching the 2010 finals. I had never watched ball before that and that finals was the turning point of my life. I WANTED TO BE LIKE KOBE. I’m so FREAKING SAD right now!!!!— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) January 26, 2020
Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic:
NO PLEASE🙏— Luka Doncic (@luka7doncic) January 26, 2020
Cleveland Cavaliers’ Tristan Thompson:
I hope this isn’t true man!!! Not Kobe— Tristan Thompson (@RealTristan13) January 26, 2020
Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert:
Enjoy every single day people, we are always too worried about things that are actually not that important. Life is precious and you never now when it’s gonna end.— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) January 26, 2020
And some of Brady’s teammates shared their memories and appreciation.
RIPMamba 🙏🏾— Sony Michel (@Flyguy2stackz) January 26, 2020
Dammmm man not Kobe!— James White (@SweetFeet_White) January 26, 2020
no words.— Ja’Whaun Bentley (@NVBentley33) January 26, 2020
Today is a sad day. RIP Kobe.🙏🏿🙏🏿— Duron Harmon (@dharm32) January 26, 2020
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban shared a resonant message to his followers after Bryant’s death.
We can never forget how precious life is. How those who are special to you and never let them forget how deeply you love them— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) January 26, 2020