- After initial reports from TMZ that 41-year Kobe Bryant had died in a plane crash, representatives for Bryant confirmed the passing of the NBA legend, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and three other passengers.
- Shocked celebrities and fans around the world quickly took to social media to react to the news, reflecting on the legacy of the 18-time NBA All Star.
On Sunday, January 26, basketball legend Kobe Bryant died in a private helicopter crash that also took the life of his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and three other people.
TMZ first reported the news of the basketball player's passing, followed by confirmation from outlets including The Associated Press. A representative for Bryant later confirmed to TMZ that his second eldest daughter, Gianna, had also died in the crash. According to TMZ, the father and daughter was taking a helicopter to Bryant's Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks for Gianna's basketball practice.
Bryant was known for a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, making him the only NBA player to play that long for one team, with whom he won 5 NBA championships. The Philadelphia native was also an 18-time All Star known for his competitive spirit, revered as an icon for both the sport, but also the city of Los Angeles.
In 2018, Bryant won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for Dear Basketball, and soon after he collaborated with author Wesley King to create The Wizenard Series, a young adult fantasy sports series. Bryant was also a known philanthropist, serving as ambassador for After-School All-Stars, a national children's charity providing after-school programs to inner-city students.
Now, Bryant leaves behind his wife, Vanessa, and three more daughters: Natalia, 17; Bianka, 3, and 7-month-old Capri. On social media and at the sidelines at games, he could often be seen with 13-year-old Gianna, who was clearly close with her dad—and had big time basketball goals for herself.
Kobe on Gianna: “The best thing that happens is when we go out and fans come up to me, and she'll be standing next to me ..— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 26, 2020
They’ll be like “you gotta have a boy, have soembody carry on the legacy... she’s like, “oh, I got this!”pic.twitter.com/rsIgOXbNlI
Around the world and on social media, shocked celebrities and fans alike are mourning, expressing their grief at the loss of the basketball great and his daughter, both gone far too young.
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
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
Nooooooooooo God please No!— DWade (@DwyaneWade) January 26, 2020
I'm so sad and stunned right now. In Staples Arena, where Kobe created so many memories for all of us, preparing to pay tribute to another brilliant man we lost too soon, Nipsey Hussle. Life can be so brutal and senseless sometimes. Hold on to your loved ones. We miss you, Kobe— John Legend (@johnlegend) January 26, 2020
Downtown right now and nothing feels more unimportant than what we are doing today. This is absolutely terrible. Everyone is numb.— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) January 26, 2020
Our thoughts, prayers, and condolences are with the Bryant family and millions of fans at this difficult time.
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