World, Sports Figures React to Kobe Bryant’s Sudden Death

His final tweet was about LeBron James eclipsing his scoring record
January 26, 2020 Updated: January 26, 2020
FONT BFONT SText size

Tributes from current and former NBA players have poured in after former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

Bryant, 41, was an 18-time NBA All-Star and five-time champion who was among the most influential sports figures of all time.

Bryant, considered among the greatest players in NBA history, departed the league in 2016 after spending his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers. During his career, he won five championships, he was named to 18 All-Star games, and retired as the third-leading scorer in NBA history.

On Saturday, current Lakers star forward LeBron James passed him for third place in scoring history during a game in Philadelphia. “Continuing to move the game forward (at) KingJames,” Bryant wrote in his final Twitter post about the moment. “Much respect, my brother.”

On social media, a number of NBA, fellow sports stars, and other celebrities offered their condolences on social media.

The City of Calabasas, California, where the helicopter crashed, confirmed his death Sunday.

“For those Kobe fans that are out there, that are feeling like I feel right now, just try and think of all the joy that he brought you,” said NBA analyst and former player Brian Shaw on NBA TV.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Twitter that a helicopter crashed in Calabasas, with no survivors.

“Five people confirmed deceased, no survivors in #Calabasas helicopter crash. #LASD #Malibu deputies remain with #LA County Fire personnel. Investigation ongoing,” the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office wrote. “Avoid the area until further notice.”

In a prior update, it said the downed helicopter’s flames were extinguished. Sheriff’s officials and the local fire department were searching for survivors.