The world was shocked when basketball legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Sunday. Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria Onore was also aboard the helicopter and died in the crash. The two of them were reportedly on their way to the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks for basketball practice when the helicopter crashed.
Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and three children. There were at least three other people on board Bryant’s private helicopter when it crashed, and none survived the accident.
There has been a massive outpouring of grief in the wake of Bryant’s passing, with many celebrities and athletes paying their respects to the legendary player.
@chrissyteigen: “I cannot believe this is real. My god. Oh my god.”
@wutangclan: “My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and loved ones of @kobebryant Shocked and saddened to hear he has died in a helicopter accident. A man that transcends basketball and sport in general. One of the all time great athletes. #rip #nba #KobeByrant”
@TheEllenShow: “Like everyone, I’m stunned and saddened by the news about Kobe Bryant. My heart is broken for his wife and family.”
@ReeseW: “Just devastated to hear about #KobeBryant .?An extraordinary athlete, and a genuinely kind, wonderful man. Sending love, prayers & compassion to his family. To his entire
@NBA family as well.”
Demi Lovato was one of the first to post a tribute to Bryant, posting a picture of the former Laker at the Staples Center. The singer wrote:
“This makes me so sad. Babe 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 be [sic] so missed by so many. You’re a legend with wings now. RIP Kobe ???”
Lovato overdosed in 2018 and has been working to get sober since. She’s debuting new music at Sunday night’s Grammy awards — her first new music since 2017’s “Sober” — and she’ll also be singing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl in February.
Bryant was such an icon that one can probably expect a tribute of some kind at the Grammy Awards. While he has a bit of a complicated legacy, the man made an impact on sports that cannot be undervalued.