Raptors issue statement on shocking death of Kobe Bryant

Mike Stephens
NHL analyst

It’s the type of news you never thought you’d have to report. Earlier Sunday evening, the Toronto Raptors issued an official statement on the passing of Los Angeles Lakers legend and NBA superstar, Kobe Bryant.

The full statement can be found below.

The Toronto Raptors released an official statement on the passing of Kobe Bryant.

Bryant’s ties with the Raptors run quite deep.

Bryant famously set the NBA’s single-game points record in Toronto, finishing with 81 points against the Raptors on January 22nd, 2006. Former Raptors star DeMar DeRozan has been vocal in declaring Bryant his favourite player, as well. Growing up in the Los Angeles area, DeRozan admits to having modelled his game after Bryant, whom he viewed as a personal idol.

DeRozan wears #10 on his uniform, just as his hero did many times for the United States National Team.

On a day filled with unspeakable tragedy, a simple statement seems incapable of capturing the gravity of the moment. No words will ever do justice to what Bryant did for the NBA, its players, and the sport of basketball. His legacy is, quite literally, timeless — Bryant’s impact on all who watched him will remain for generations to come. One thing is for sure: January 26th, 2020 will be remembered as a day of heart-wrenching sadness.

Kobe Bryant was 41.

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