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.
To the 🐐 pic.twitter.com/jaztiwcU8z
— Saquon Barkley (@saquon) July 16, 2019
Other current and former Giants players took to Twitter to react to the news of Bryant’s passing.
Oh my … this is awful. https://t.co/EyWfgnIt3V
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) January 26, 2020
— Keeon Johnson🥶 (@KJohnsonHTx3) January 26, 2020
Ain’t no way bruh https://t.co/QlL9kn895b
— Oshane Ximines (@OshaneXimines) January 26, 2020
— Saquon Barkley (@saquon) January 26, 2020
Prayers also to ALL the families and loved ones that lost someone on that helicopter. https://t.co/HQJBgVXBOP
— Golden Tate (@ShowtimeTate) January 26, 2020
Got in trouble so many times growing up shooting paper balls across the room screaming Kobe🔥 .. Still in disbelief. @kobebryant you set the standard for what it means to be a competitor & #MambaMentality will forever live on.. RIP Kobe 🙏🏽
— Tae Davis (@Tae_Davis1) January 26, 2020
Just a sad sad day. Kobe Bryant died. Life is fragile. This sucks.https://t.co/knNt6Sz74k
— George Wrighster III (@georgewrighster) January 26, 2020
Man!!! I really can’t believe this #RIPKOBEBEAN
— Justin Tuck (@JustinTuck) January 26, 2020
No no no, Not KOBE.
Just awful…shook right now
Praying for his Wife & kids 🙏🏻 #KobeBryant
— Shaun O’Hara (@ShaunOHara60) January 26, 2020
— Jonathan Casillas (@jcasillas52) January 26, 2020
Kobe was so real and open about who he was and what drove him every second of every day. He inspired millions of people including myself. Gone way too soon. RIP Kobe
— Evan Engram (@eazyengram) January 26, 2020
Real tears in my eyes..
— JP (@JabrillPeppers) January 26, 2020
I can’t stop crying
— Victor Cruz (@TeamVic) January 26, 2020