Social media has been flooded with remembrances and tributes to Kobe Bryant following the shocking news of his death on Sunday. The 41-year-old basketball legend was killed in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others while they were en route to his Mamba Basketball Academy.
One particular tribute that has been making the rounds on Twitter is an old video called “Thank You Kobe” that was created when he retired from the NBA. It features fellow basketball stars sharing their thoughts on his incredible career.
People have had strong reactions to seeing the video, which now takes on a much deeper meaning following his passing.
“My heart absolutely breaks for Vanessa. There is no greater pain than to loose a child. Rest in Pease to Kobe, GiGi, and the other 7 lives lost. Prayers to all of their families and friends,” one wrote.
Thank You! pic.twitter.com/dzTGmMdilz
— Chris Calvin (@Coach_Chris1) January 26, 2020
“This breaks my heart I am legit crying. My number is also 24 in basketball I’m dedicating my next game to him and his daughter, rest easy angels,” another wrote.
“All day I thought about Kobe and his daughter Gianna’s death and I was sad but I didn’t cry just yet … now I’m absolutely bawling,” a third commented.
Haven’t cried yet until this video. It just got to me. pic.twitter.com/bWAkW5PAmc
— Tom Beat Time (@AxelBlazeMan) January 26, 2020
His fellow basketball great, Michael Jordan, released a statement about the news on Sunday:
“I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe’s and Gianna’s passing. Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling. I loved Kobe – he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much.
“He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force. Kobe was also an amazing dad who loved his family deeply – and took great pride in his daughter’s love for the game of basketball. Yvette joins me in sending my deepest condolences to Vanessa, the Lakers organization and basketball fans around the world.”
Shaquille O’Neil, who played with Kobe on the Lakers, shared his thoughts on Twitter:
“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”
“Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man. That was what we had most in common. I would hug his children like they were my own and he would embrace my kids like they were his. His baby girl Gigi was born on the same day as my youngest daughter Me’Arah.”