The death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant is hitting Hollywood and his fellow athletes hard.
Bryant, a five-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, was reported dead on Sunday morning along with four others in a helicopter crash in Southern California just hours before several NBA games were set to tip off. During the early minutes of a game between the Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets, Rockets center Tyson Chandler was shown sitting on his team’s bench in tears.
— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) January 26, 2020
In Texas, during a game between the Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs, both teams agreed to allow the 24 second shot clock to expire to begin the game in honor of Bryant, who wore the number 24. Lakers legend Jerry West also spoke to the Los Angeles Times about his memories of the basketball star.
Remarkable moment to start the Raptors-Spurs game. pic.twitter.com/thmt9ZU1Ra
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 26, 2020
“To have been such, particularly when he was young, to be a part of his life and to watch his career grow, watch him grow, this is one of the most tragic days of my life,” West said. “I know somewhere along the way I guess I’ll come to grips with it. But now I have all these different emotions regarding him. The things I watched him do on the basketball court, but more importantly he was going to make a difference off the court, and he was making a difference off the court. It’s so unexplainable. This is going to take a long time for me.”
The feelings of shock and sadness poured out beyond the sports world, as Hollywood celebrities and other well-known figures expressed their condolences. Here are some of the reactions:
What a sad day today. @kobebryant you’re a legend. I remember being in the front row of a Celtics-Lakers game & u came by shouting my name. It put a huge smile on my face- such an honor to be recognized from the greatest. You’ll be missed. Sending my love & prayers to your family pic.twitter.com/LLcDv9VKLT
— Rob Gronkowski (@RobGronkowski) January 26, 2020
— Manu Ginobili (@manuginobili) January 26, 2020
— John Wall (@JohnWall) January 26, 2020
Please no. Please god no. It can’t be true.
— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) January 26, 2020
This is not real right now
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) January 26, 2020
— Andre Drummond (@AndreDrummond) January 26, 2020
I’m stunned. Words can’t even come close to describing it. Just an incredibly sad and tragic day.
— Scottie Pippen (@ScottiePippen) January 26, 2020
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
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) January 26, 2020
Reports are that basketball great Kobe Bryant and three others have been killed in a helicopter crash in California. That is terrible news!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2020
Today, the world lost a legend.
Kobe Bryant’s 20 year career with the @Lakers raised the bar for every player. He willed his team to triumphs. Competed with unparalleled ferocity. Defied the odds. Simply put — he was an icon.
Our hearts go out to his family and fans.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) January 26, 2020
This breaks my heart. Thinking about Kobe’s wife and children. Including his new baby. https://t.co/4U9nGoIalM
— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) January 26, 2020
Janet and I have no words to describe our shock and sadness on the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant today. Praying for him and his family. ????
— Wayne Gretzky (@WayneGretzky) January 26, 2020
Kobe literally just broke the internet.
Life is just so beyond our capacity to control. May his loved ones and those of all who perished find peace.
— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) January 26, 2020
RIP Kobe Bryant. I cannot believe I just typed those words. Just impossible to comprehend. He was becoming as big a force in his second career as he was on the court. God bless his wife and children.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) January 26, 2020
Like everyone, I’m stunned and saddened by the news about Kobe Bryant. My heart is broken for his wife and family.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 26, 2020
A once in a generation athlete, Kobe had a thirsty mind. He had his own marketing firm, won an Oscar, had a million ideas. He liked it best when we'd talk about anything other than basketball. #RIP
— Rick Reilly (@ReillyRick) January 26, 2020
#KobeBryant you were the greatest. You made our city and the rest of the world so proud. Every basketball fan knew the magnificence of the Mamba. Love and healing to Vanessa and those little girls. God, this is just the worst ever.
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) January 26, 2020
Sending my love to Laker fans everywhere. Life can be so short. Hug your kids and call your parents and let your friends know you love them #kobe
— Ike Barinholtz (@ikebarinholtz) January 26, 2020
Shocked and saddened about the tragic death of Kobe Bryant. His mantra was “live today to inspire tomorrow” and he inspired millions. My heart goes out to his beloved family. pic.twitter.com/f25D74QzR5
— Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff) January 26, 2020
If I ever needed a reminder that death doesn't discriminate. What an unbelievable event. As a life long Lakers fan I'm so grateful for the memories. My heart beaks for his wife and children. Rest in peace Kobe. This one hurts. pic.twitter.com/NIBvSRqLnW
— Travon Free (@Travon) January 26, 2020
Prayers and blessing to the @kobebryant family. Such a devastating time right now. A great friend, mentor to all,positive role model and teacher of the game. Words can’t express my feeling for him as a person, father and player. It hurts. RIP Black Mamba pic.twitter.com/qDCB5BObv7
— Donovan McNabb (@donovanjmcnabb) January 26, 2020
Devastating news. My thoughts and prayers are with Kobe's family and loved ones. https://t.co/pv8AGxI69N
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) January 26, 2020
Kobe was a real life super hero on that court & I’m sure he was one to his family. Sending love and prayers to them. This is heartbreaking.
— Bruno Mars (@BrunoMars) January 26, 2020
Stunned and shocked, doesn’t feel real. RIP Kobe Bryant ????????????????????????
— Rod Strickland (@rod_strickland) January 26, 2020
I am at a loss for words. How does this happen?! Devastated. Rip Kobe ????????????????
— lindsey vonn (@lindseyvonn) January 26, 2020
I had dinner with Kobe once. He was known as an athlete, but his mind is what blew me away most of all. Such an incredibly motivated, smart person. There are no words. Love to my friend Vanessa and his entire family. I can’t believe it.
— Ross Mathews (@helloross) January 26, 2020