The Los Angeles Lakers organization broke its silence on the death of Kobe Bryant on Wednesday night with a social media statement. The team that Bryant played for his entire career shared its devastation over the news Sunday that the basketball legend and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna had been killed in a helicopter accident.
“We are devastated and have been forever changed by the sudden loss of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. We send our love to Vanessa, the Bryant family, and to the families of the other passengers,” the team wrote.
“Words cannot express what Kobe means to the Los Angeles Lakers, our fans, and our city. More than a basketball player, he was a beloved father, husband, and teammate. Their love and light will remain in our hearts forever,” the statement continued.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 30, 2020
They then directed fans to an organization that has been established to help support the families of the other seven victims in the crash.
“The Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to support the families affected by this tragedy. To help, please visit http://MambaOnThree.org. For those who are inspired to continue Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit http://MambaSportsFoundation.org.”
Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, also spoke out about the tragedy for the first time in an Instagram post.
“My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri,” she wrote.
“We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately.
There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved,” she continued.
“We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon.
I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever.”