Basketball legend Kobe Bryant aged 41 died on Sunday in a helicopter crash along with her 13 year-old daughter Gianna Bryant in South California. He was off to coach at a academy her daughter practices at when this unfortunate accident happened.
Chief Daryl Osby of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said nobody survived the crash into a hill in Calabasas, which is approximately 30 miles west of Los Angeles. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said nine people were on the helicopter — a pilot and eight passengers.
As soon as this tragic news broke out, tributes for this legend of a man came pouring in.
“The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. “For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning.”
Former US President Barack Obama paid his tribute, “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.”
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi wrote on Instagram: “I have no words… All my love for Kobe’s family and friends. It was a pleasure to meet you and share good times together. You were a genius like few others.”
Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo said the news was “heartbreaking”, adding Bryant was “a true legend and inspiration to so many”, while Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba added: “Heroes come and go, legends are for ever.”
World number one tennis player Rafael Nadal tweeted: “I woke up this morning with the horrible news of the tragic death of one of the greatest sportsmen in the world. Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and other passengers. My condolences to his wife and families. I am in shock.”