It was reported on Sunday afternoon that Bryant was one of several people who was a part of a helicopter crash on Sunday morning. Bryant was on his way to a youth basketball game with his daughter Gianna when the helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California.
As the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed, there were no survivors as part of the crash.
Just minutes after it was confirmed my numerous media outlets that Bryant had passed, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees — who was in the midst of playing in the 2020 Pro Bowl — had an emotional live interview on ESPN discussing Bryant’s greatness.
Brees Stresses The Impact Bryant Had On People
Although Brees had only met Bryant once, but the Lakers legend’s impact on the veteran quarterback — the all-time career leader in touchdown passes — was unforgettable. As Brees stated, he wishes he had the opportunity to spend more time with the late basketball great. He made sure to stress what an inspiration Bryant was as a sports figure and as a competitor.
“I had the chance to meet him one time. But he was a guy I always hoped I would have the chance to be around him more. I had so much respect for him as a competitor. I know he inspired so many people in so many different ways. One of the great competitors of any generation. Not just with sports, But I think just the way he approached a lot of things. And what he was doing now after basketball. So I pray for him, I pray for his family. I know we don’t know all the details yet. But it’s a tragic loss.”
Sports World Reacts to Bryant’s Untimely Passing
Needless to say, Brees wasn’t the only major athlete to react to Bryant’s passing. Numerous players from across different sports — major names and small names — reacted to the surprising news of Bryant’s death.
One of the more in-depth comments was from none other than Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Although Abdul-Jabbar and Bryant played in different eras, both are part of Lakers franchise history and spent a lot of time with one another. The six-time NBA champion addressed Bryant’s death.
“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,” Abdul-Jabbar captioned the tweet that included the video.
“Kobe and I shared so many special conversations about life and basketball. We had so much in common off the court. I used to love talking to him about Lakers basketball, being fathers and husbands and how much we loved Italy. I will miss those conversations and him so much.”
Perhaps the biggest comment of them all was from Shaquille O’Neal — Bryant’s teammate of eight years and the guy he won three titles with. O’Neal addressed Bryant’s passing along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gigi.
“There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice (sic) Gigi & my brother [Kobe] I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW.”
Bryant’s legacy will always be remembered. Our thoughts and condolences go out to Bryant’s family and friends.