The sports world is morning after NBA legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash early Sunday morning. He was 41. TMZ reported that Bryant was on board a helicopter that crashed with four other people on board. All five people on board died, including Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria Onore Bryant.
The NBA star and father of four was on his way to his daughter's basketball practice at Mamba Academy when witnesses say they heard the engine of the helicopter start sputtering. The vehicle crashed and a fire broke out. Everyone on board died.
Bryant leaves behind his wife Vanessa and his three other children, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. Kobe and Vanessa met in 1999 and were married in 2001. Bryant was considered one of the best NBA players of all time, ranking fourth in the NBA for all-time regular season scoring and all-time postseason scoring. He also represented the USA at the Olympics, and won an Oscar in 2018 for his short film, "Dear Basketball."
Recently, a clip of Bryant and his daughter Gianna had gone viral, as it showed the two of them sitting next to each other at a basketball game talking about strategy.
Kobe and Gigi courtside breaking down the game 📋 pic.twitter.com/FxqSjVx6ew— ESPN (@espn) December 22, 2019
Since the news of Bryant's passing, celebrities have been mourning the loss on social media, with many of them in disbelief that he's gone. They are also thinking about his wife Vanessa who has lost her husband and daughter in a tragic way.
"I'm so sad and stunned right now," John Legend wrote. "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"
"He was great,charismatic & among the hardest-working athletes ever,but what impressed me most was how deeply-involved Kobe was with his 4 daughters," Jimmy Kimmel tweeted. "Pray for them, Vanessa, his parents & his fellow passengers' families on this sad and shocking day. We will never forget you Kobe"
"Like everyone, I’m stunned and saddened by the news about Kobe Bryant. My heart is broken for his wife and family," Ellen Degeneres wrote.
"I am completely speechless and devastated at the unexpected passing of my dear friend, @kobebryant," Paula Abdul shared. "Kobe had a big heart and an even bigger love for the community of Los Angeles. Through his foundation, he changed the lives of so many people and families with his wife, Vanessa. I pray for his family, friends and fans. There will truly never be another one like you, Kobe."
"Devastated by the news of losing our precious Kobe Bryant," Kris Jenner wrote on Instagram. "Words cannot express our sadness. All my deepest love and prayers are with Vanessa and Kobe’s family at this time. 💔🙏🏼"
"This can’t be real 💔💔💔💔 there’s no way!!! My heart hurts," Khloe Kardasian wrote as the news broke. "Please don’t let this be True. I’m shaking."
"It can't be," Justin Bieber wrote on Instagram. "You always encouraged me mamba. Gave me me some of the best quotes that we smile about to this day.! Love you man!"
President Donald Trump also tweeted about Bryant's passing, saying "Reports are that basketball great Kobe Bryant and three others have been killed in a helicopter crash in California. That is terrible news!"
"This news is heartbreaking," singer Ciara wrote. "I am lost for words. Praying for Vanessa and the Bryant family at this sad and difficult time. Rest In Paradise Young Legend. Heaven has gained another angel. "
"This honestly doesn’t make sense....I just saw you man," Kevin Hart shared. "This hurts my heart. God please place your hands on his family and help guide them thru this unbearable time. We love you forever man...Legends never die!!!! #MambaMentality#RIP.... RIP to the other passengers as well as sending prayers to their families. 🙏🏾"
"This makes me so sad," Demi Lovato shared. "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. RIP Kobe 💔💔💔 *update* I just heard his daughter Gigi was also in the accident and it breaks my heart. This whole family was so sweet and now they’re in my prayers heavy. RIP Gigi beautiful girl. 💔💔💔"
There were talks that the NBA would cancel all the games today, but there are still some happening. Players are very clearly shaken up about the news.
It is heartbreaking to lose such a legend so young, and especially hard that his young daughter also passed.