NBA legend Kobe Bryant was tragically killed in a helicopter crash, TMZ reported. The crash took place in Calabasas Sunday morning, with Bryant and eight other people confirmed dead, including his 13-year old daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore. Bryant’s private helicopter has been one of his favorite ways to travel over the years, and the cause of the devastating crash is still being investigated.
Reactions far and wide, from players, celebrities and fans immediately poured in, and while there were rumors circulating that the NBA would suspend all play in the wake of the sad news, moments of silence and homages began happening instead. There were also multiple moments of sheer sadness and disbelief that were captured on camera.
Houston Rockets forward Tyson Chandler sat in stunned silence, fighting tears while sitting on the Houston bench.
The tragic news travelled far and wide, reaching former NBA star Amar’e Stoudamire, who was clearly in shock. Stoudamire had just heard the news after a game with the Maccabi Tel Aviv, the team he plays for in Israel. “I’m shocked … I have no idea what to say, no idea what to even think,” Stoudamire said, after the game. “It feels unreal. I don’t even want to believe it … it’s like a dagger to my heart right now … I don’t even know who I am, it seems like,” said an obviously stunned and saddened Stoudamire, who was in tears by interview’s end.
Los Angeles Clippers current head coach, Doc Rivers, also broke down after the game when talking about Kobe.
“This is just shocking news for all of us,” Rivers said. “I have to go talk to a team before a game, and tell them to play,” Rivers said, his voice breaking as he broke down.
Bryant won five world championships with the Los Angeles Lakers in his 20 seasons with the team. He scored 33,643 points in 1,346 games, averaging 25 points a game over his illustrious career. Bryant was just passed on the NBA all-time leading scorers list by LeBron James Saturday night, and he tweeted at James after it happened, telling the new Lakers legend: “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother.” It ended up being his final tweet.