Thu, 27 Feb 2020

Reactions to Kobe Bryant's death

Field Level Media
27 Jan 2020, 10:25 GMT+10

Following are reactions to the death of basketball icon Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, who were both killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday:

Former president Barack Obama: "Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act," Obama said on Twitter. "To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day."

NBA commissioner Adam Silver: "For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning," Silver said in a statement. "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."

NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal: "There's no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi my brother @kobebryant," he wrote on Twitter. "I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW."

NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson: "My friend, a legend, husband, father, son, brother, Oscar winner and greatest Laker of all-time is gone," Johnson wrote in a tweet. "It's hard to accept. Kobe was a leader of our game, a mentor to both male and female players."

NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan: "I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe's and Gianna's passing," Jordan said in a statement. "Words can't describe the pain I'm feeling. I loved Kobe -- he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations."

Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: "He was an incredible athlete and a leader in a lot of ways," Abdul-Jabbar said in a video. "He inspired a whole generation of young athletes. Kobe my thoughts are with you, absolutely, rest in peace young man. It's just hard to comprehend."

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers: "The news is just devastating to everybody who knew him, knew him a long time," Rivers told reporters. "... He means a lot to me, obviously, he was such a great opponent, that's what you want in sports. He had that DNA that very few athletes could ever have, the Tiger Woods, the Michael Jordans. I was getting to know him more since he retired."

Golfer Tiger Woods: "It's a shocker to everyone. Unbelievably sad. One of the more tragic days," Woods told CBS Sports. "... He burned so competitively hot. And the desire to win. He brought it each and every night, on both ends of the floor. Not too many guys can say that throughout NBA history."

NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen: "I'm stunned. Words can't even come close to describing it. Just an incredibly sad and tragic day."

Former NBA star Dwyane Wade: "Nooooooooooo God please No!" he tweeted.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love: "Please no. Please god no. It can't be true," he tweeted.

Philadelphia 76ers: "Kobe Bryant, one of the most decorated players in NBA history and a global ambassador for the game, made an everlasting mark on our league," the team said in a statement. "His determination, passion to win and fierce competitiveness fueled the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships and inspired millions of people around the world. Bryant's journey to icon status in the world of basketball included deep ties to the Philadelphia region, where he starred at Lower Merion High School from 1992-96. As he honed his craft in Philadelphia, Bryant established a reputation as a player with once-in-a-lifetime poise, grit, heart and an unwavering love of the game."

Oklahoma City Thunder: "No words can adequately express the shock and sadness the NBA family is feeling. Kobe was an icon, a person who embodied greatness in so many ways," the team said in a statement. "He pushed the game of basketball to new heights with a passion for the game that he shared with fans across the globe for decades. We send our thoughts and prayers to the Bryant family and all those who were lost in today's tragedy."

WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert: "The WNBA mourns the sudden and tragic loss of NBA Great Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna," Engelbert said in a statement. "Kobe's support for the WNBA and women's basketball along with his passion for helping young girls and boys follow their dreams made him a true legend for our sport. We admired him not just as a legendary basketball player, but as a father, a youth coach, and a role model for future generations of athletes. On behalf of the WNBA, it is an incredibly sad day for all of us and we send our deepest condolences to his family and all those who mourn his passing."

Lower Merion director of school and community relations Amy Buckman: "The Lower Merion school district community is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of our most illustrious alumni in Kobe Bryant," Buckman said. "Mr. Bryant's connection to Lower Merion high school, where he played basketball prior to joining the NBA, has raised the profile of our high school and our district throughout the world. Our school community will always be grateful for his ongoing generosity to his alma mater, including the dedication of our Kobe Bryant Gymnasium and his support of our girls and boys basketball team."

--Field Level Media

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