Legendary American basketball player Kobe Bryant was killed when the helicopter he was traveling in crashed and burst into flames Monday morning amid foggy conditions in the hills above Calabasas, 48 km north-west of Los Angeles. Reportedly, his daughter,Gianna, who accompanied him also died. As per the reports, all nine people on board have died in the crash.
The NBA issued a statement saying, "The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna".
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement today regarding the passing of Kobe Bryant pic.twitter.com/P88GwIwmYV— NBA (@NBA) January 26, 2020
Tributes started pouring in soon after the news of Kobe Bryant's tragic death came out. Deron Williams, Bryant's competitor who won the 2008 Olympic gold alongside Bryant expressed his grief after the news surfaced and took to Twitter to pay his tribute.
Loss for words right now! The greatest competitor i have ever gone up against and played with. Learned so much from watching you play as a kid. Could never get past you in the playoffs in the west. But had the honor… https://t.co/vI2etNhTmy— Deron Williams (@DeronWilliams) January 26, 2020
In another tweet, Williams expressed disbelief on passing away of Bryant's daughter and others were on the chopper.
Not their baby too 💔......... 🙏🏽 for everyone on the plane and their families. https://t.co/ZajOVrXhSR— Deron Williams (@DeronWilliams) January 26, 2020
NBA star Dennis Rodman said he felt "devastated" on hearing the news of Bryant's death.
Spanish professional basketball player and former teammate of Bryant, Pau Gasol is another to have paid tribute on social media expressing shock and finding it hard to believe the news.
Beyond devastated... my big brother... I can’t, I just can’t believe it— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) January 26, 2020
Kobe Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa Bryant, and three daughters after him and the second daughter Gianna's passing.