US basketball legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash along with his daughter and several others in Calabasas, California on Sunday evening.
Following the news, celebrities and sports stars took to Twitter to pay tribute to the 41-year-old athlete and his daughter.
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“There’s no words to express the pain I’m going through with this tragedy of losing my niece Gigi & my brother,” tweeted fellow NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal.
Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man. That was what we had most in common. I would hug his children like they were my own and he would embrace my kids like they were his. His baby girl Gigi was born on the same day as my youngest daughter Me’Arah. pic.twitter.com/BHBPN5Wq8V
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) January 26, 2020
— Tony Parker (@tonyparker) January 26, 2020
Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. 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.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 26, 2020
He was great,charismatic & among the hardest-working athletes ever,but what impressed me most was how deeply-involved Kobe was with his 4 daughters. Pray for them, Vanessa, his parents & his fellow passengers’ families on this sad and shocking day. We will never forget you Kobe
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) January 26, 2020
— Billy Dee Williams (@realbdw) January 27, 2020
This honestly doesn’t make sense….I just saw you man. This hurts my heart. God please place your hands on his family and help guide them thru this unbearable time. We love you forever man…Legends never die!!!!… https://t.co/L8TZ2ZO6Sm
— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) January 26, 2020
My heart is so heavy. No one should ever experience what the families involved are going through. This has affected us all so much but I cannot begin to imagine what Vanessa is feeling losing her husband and her baby girl. I cry just thinking about it. pic.twitter.com/U3osyw6Pzu
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) January 27, 2020
Kobe was truly larger than life, a legend. May he and all those who lost their lives today rest in peace. Love and condolences to his family. LA will never be the same.
— Leonardo DiCaprio (@LeoDiCaprio) January 26, 2020
Fans also honoured the NBA star with quotes and tributes too.
This is for you Kobe Bryant and Gianna .
Rest in peace!
— John Paul Roiles (@jpaulroiles) January 27, 2020
(@ItsWilly_KE) January 27, 2020
— Ken Mnachi (@Mnachi_B) January 27, 2020
— Your Aunty
(@AuntyPearlZCW) January 27, 2020
— Shashank Singh (@SHASHANK_KR_S) January 27, 2020
“This is a monumental loss for the entire basketball community and our hearts are quite simply broken,” the NBA said in an official statement.
Bryant was a five-time NBA champion and double Olympic gold medallist.
“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,” the NBA concluded.
Feature image: screenshot, @SHAQ via Twitter