Basketball legend and sporting icon Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday morning.
Bryant was reportedly traveling with eight other people in his private chopper. The pilot and all passengers — including, horribly, Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna — have been confirmed dead.
Gianna was a familiar face courtside, at press conferences, and in photos throughout and following her father’s esteemed NBA career. Bryant has coached Gianna’s AAU basketball team for the past two years and the two were en route to a game, along with at least one teammate of Gianna’s and one of her parents, when the crash took place.
Kobe was 41.
In the minutes and hours after the devastating news started trickling out, those across the sports world, including the NHL, reacted to the mammoth loss of an athletic and cultural behemoth.
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
Alex Ovechkin, on the news of Kobe Bryant:— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) January 26, 2020
"It's tough you know, because I know him. He always treat me well when he saw me. You know, it's hard. He was a legend in the basketball world and the whole world, and it is tough. Still can't believe it."
Alex Ovechkin met Kobe Bryant about 3-4 times. Ovechkin specifically recalled one moment:— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) January 26, 2020
"He always shake my hand, he knows who I am. I remember when I was in the stands eating hot dogs and he was like pointing to me and I was like, 'holy,' but it is hard. It's hard."
“He was a legend in the basketball world and the whole world. It’s tough.” —Alex Ovechkin on Kobe Bryant, who once presented the #Caps’ captain with a game-worn jersey and sneakers after a game in L.A. pic.twitter.com/RQPZFFURem— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) January 26, 2020
What a sad day. Forever a legend! RIP 24— Henrik Lundqvist (@HLundqvist30) January 26, 2020
Thank you Kobe for every lesson you never knew you taught me. Your work ethic and devotion to your craft will never be matched. May you and Gianna rest in eternal peace together. pic.twitter.com/lTiarEklgT— Kevin Shattenkirk (@shattdeuces) January 27, 2020
I’ve always wanted to be like you. Not only as a player but also as a person. You represent everything that is great about sports. #RIPKobe— Claude Giroux (@28CGiroux) January 26, 2020
The world weeps, the basketball community mourns. Kobe is the GOAT — Beloved and respected by all. Stunned and shaken to our core.— Ted Leonsis (@TedLeonsis) January 26, 2020
24 🙏🏼— Blake Coleman (@BColes25) January 26, 2020
The last memory of Kobe & GG 😢 https://t.co/4OYXeHB63X— Carlo Colaiacovo (@CarloColaiacovo) January 26, 2020
Tragedy and death has the ability to force us into the present moment & be grateful for what we have— Daniel Carcillo (@CarBombBoom13) January 26, 2020
People will undoubtedly be hugging their children & more appreciative of life lived today
I know I am
Prayers & thoughts to the families who have lost loved ones today#Kobe https://t.co/rLL8ZSlwof
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