Kobe Bryant

The sports world is mourning after a helicopter crash took the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven other people on Sunday in Los Angeles.

The reactions and tributes are pouring in from sports stars and celebrities.

Shaquille O’Neal posted a heartfelt tribute to Kobe on Twitter and Instagram. The two NBA legends won three championships together with the Lakers, though they had plenty of feuding over the years, before developing more of a friendship and mutual appreciation in their post-playing careers. Shaq also referred to Gianna (GiGi) as his niece, and said how she was born on the same day as his daughter, Me’Arah.


There are no words to express the pain I’m going through now with this tragic and sad moment of loosing my neice Gigi & my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie. I love you and you will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW !

Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man. That was what we had most in common. We love our families. Whenever we got together I would hug his children like they were my own and he would embrace my kids like they were his. His baby girl Gianna was born on the same day as my youngest daughter Me’Arah. I miss you already brother. This is truly unbelievable. Everyone please keep the Bryant’s in your prayers.

Lakers legend Magic Johnson shared several tweets, calling Kobe “the greatest Laker of all-time.”

Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar posted a tweet with a video included.

Most people will remember Kobe as the magnificent athlete who inspired a whole generation of basketball players. But I will always remember him as a man who was much more than an athlete.

Jerry West — former Lakers star, coach, and executive — said that he feels like he’s lost a son.

Update: Jerry West spoke more about Bryant on Sunday night.


The player Kobe modeled his game after and will forever me most compared to, Michael Jordan, released a statement. Jordan said that Bryant “was like a little brother to me.”

“I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe’s and Gianna’s passing. 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 very much. He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force. Kobe was also an amazing dad who loved his family deeply – and took great pride in his daughter’s love for the game of basketball. Yvette joins me in sending my deepest condolences to Vanessa, the Lakers organization and basketball fans around the world.”

Former President Barack Obama tweeted that Bryant “was a legend on the court,” and said that losing Gianna “is even more heartbreaking to us as parents.”

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.

Here are some more reactions:




About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.