Current, former Giants mourn the sudden death of Kobe Bryant

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The sports world is mourning the sudden passing of NBA superstar Kobe Bryant.

Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. They were on their way to a travel basketball game when the accident occurred.

Bryant’s death comes less than 24 hours after Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James passed him for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. At 10:39 PM EST Saturday, Bryant congratulated James during the Lakers’ 108-91 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Twitter.

Bryant racked up 33,643 points, 7,047 rebounds, 6,306 assists, and 1,944 steals in 20 NBA seasons with the Lakers. He won five NBA titles (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010) with the Lakers and two Olympic gold medals. Bryant was an 18-time All-Star, a two-time NBA Finals MVP, and a regular-season MVP in 2008.

Bryant’s influence was felt far beyond the NBA hardwood.

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, a former basketball player, wears No. 8 as a tribute to Bryant, his favorite player. Bryant wore No. 8 with the Lakers from his rookie season in 1996 through the 2006-07 season.

Running back Saquon Barkley cited Bryant’s notoriously competitive nature as an influence. Barkley took to Twitter to send Bryant a heartfelt message last summer before the start of training camp.

Other current and former Giants players took to Twitter to react to the news of Bryant’s passing.

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– Curtis Rawls is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage and covers the NFL and the New York Giants. Please like and follow on Facebook and Twitter. Curtis can be followed on Twitter @CuRawls203.

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