On January 26, news broke that NBA superstar Kobe Bryant had reportedly died in a helicopter crash at age 41. While details around the reported crash are still emerging, celebrities and fans alike are using social media to express their feelings about the news — and to remember Bryant's legacy.
The Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday afternoon that Bryant was one of multiple casualties in a helicopter accident that occurred in Calabasas, in Los Angeles County earlier this morning. Many celebrities commented on the news in the hours afterward; Cardi B, Normani, Khalid, Khloé Kardashian, and more tweeted their disbelief about his reported passing. "This isn’t real this isn’t real," Normani wrote.
Others, like Vanessa Hudgens and Drake, posted photos of Bryant on their feeds with short messages, while still others, including Kehlani and Taylor Swift, tweeted words of comfort for Kobe's family, including his wife Vanessa.
"My heart is in pieces hearing the news of this unimaginable tragedy," Taylor tweeted. "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."
Meanwhile, celebrities on Instagram shared longer memories of the basketball player, who played for the Lakers for 20 years before retiring in 2016. Demi Lovato published an Instagram of photo of herself with the former L.A. Lakers player. "This makes me so sad," she wrote in the caption. "Kobe you were always so sweet to me. Known you over 10 years.. not super well but we always joked about you coming over and playing that game of horse! You will he so missed by so many. You’re a legend with wings now." Justin Bieber echoed these sentiments and shared his own photo, thanking Bryant for his encouragement. "It can't be. You always encouraged me mamba," he shared. "Gave me me some of the best quotes that we smile about to this day.! Love you man!"
Model Gigi Hadid shared her condolences with a throwback photo of herself wearing a No. 8 Lakers Jersey at her basketball-themed 11th birthday party. "Shocked and heartbroken," she wrote. "Way too soon. Rest In Peace & Power, Legend- being a fan of yours brought so much joy to my life. Sending my love, strength, and deepest condolences to the sweet Bryant family."
Brenda Song wrote a tribute to Bryant that praised him for getting her interested in basketball. "There are no words that can truly express how I feel right now," she posted on Instagram. "I’m in shock. My heart hurts. This man changed my life and gave me a love for a sport that some would call unhealthy. I haven’t even been able to really watch basketball since he retired. Basketball to me was Kobe Bryant. Basketball to ME, IS Kobe Bryant. Thank you, Kobe."
Additionally, Yara Shahidi wrote that "this moment is so surreal that it doesn’t seem real and I have no clue what to say ❤️I’m beyond grateful to have witnessed his impact, how many people he’s inspired and uplifted on and off the court. My heart breaks for everyone on board and we send our prayers and love to their families."
Kylie Jenner shared a photo of Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria, who was reportedly in the helicopter when it crashed and was also killed. "At loss for words right now. praying for this beautiful family," Kylie wrote.
Her sister Kendall Jenner also posted a message of love and support. "Sadly, i never personally knew you, but knowing i’m capable of all these emotions for someone i only knew from a far makes me feel more human than ever," Kendall wrote. "You had the magical ability of bringing people together, through sports and through your soul. we feel you so heavily today, i know you can feel us too. rest peacefully Kobe, Gigi and the rest of the passengers we lost today. my heart truly goes out to all the families. give a big hug to the people you love today and always."
Former President Barack Obama shared his thoughts about Bryant in a tweet, writing, "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."
As the news circulated, the Sports Center Twitter account shared a video of LeBron James talking just last night after a game in Philadelphia about Bryant's impact on his own career, and how much he admired him growing up. At a basketball camp when James was a teenage player, Bryant came to speak to the campers, and James still remembers what he said at the time. "One thing he said was, 'if you wanna try to be great at it, be one of the greats, you gotta put the work in,'" James said in the clip. "'There's no substitution for work.' ... I'm happy to be in any conversation with Kobe Bryant, one of the all-time greatest basketball players that ever played."
Related: Kobe Bryant Has Reportedly Died
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue