The death of Kobe Bryant in a helicopter accident on Sunday has touched the lives of just about everyone, included many celebrities. Dozens have shared their tributes to the life of the NBA legend, and now Catherine Zeta-Jones is sharing hers.
The actress posts a couple of photos of Bryant on Instagram along with a heartfelt message.
“RIP Kobe. 24 years ago, ironically, Kobe was my next door neighbor in Pacific Palisades in LA,” she wrote. Both young and ambitious. We met the day he moved in through his dog, that started to,and continued to wander in to my garden. His basketball court was my view. I watched his talent and dedication, yet how could I have known that he was to become what he became. Tragic news today. Being a Daddy today took his life and that of his precious daughter. Unimaginable loss to all. Love to the families. #24forkobe.”
Fans filled the comments with their thoughts. “Such sadness and a reminder to us all that life is so fleeting,” one said.
“Awwww…. That’s a nice memory for you to reflect on Catherine. So much sadness over this news,” another wrote.
“What a bittersweet memory, how wonderful that you have something to hold on to. Tragic time for his family and friends. He was also very wise, and we can remember him by living out his teachings so his legacy lives on. Thank you for sharing your memory. RIP,” a third commented.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement on behalf of the league on Sunday:
“The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning. He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary: five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals.”
But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability. He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna. We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Vanessa, and their family, the Lakers organization and the entire sports world.”