Wednesday April 1st, 2020 8:29PM

Reaction to the death of retired NBA superstar Kobe Bryant

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Reaction from the basketball world and beyond on the death of retired NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, in a helicopter crash on Sunday:

“Words can't describe the pain I am feeling. I loved Kobe — he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much. He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force. Kobe was also an amazing dad who loved his family deeply — and took great pride in his daughter's love for the game of basketball.” — Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan in a statement

“It's an unbelievable reality that he's no longer here.” — golfer Tiger Woods

“Kobe was not only an icon in the sports arena, he was a man of the world and touched so many lives and communities in the most positive ways. His star was continuing to rise every day and he knew no limits because of his many intellectual and creative talents and desire to give back to others – his passion for the game, for his family and for others was apparent in everything he accomplished.” — Basketball Hall of Famer Larry Bird in a statement

“It's just a huge loss to the game. He was a great example on a lot of different stages.” — rapper Rick Ross at the Grammy Awards

“Jeannine & I are absolutely shocked to hear of the loss of one of my favorite people & one of the best basketball minds in the history of the game! Our hearts and prayers to Vanessa & his girls. @kobebryant you were my biggest fan, but I was yours. #RIPMAMBA” — Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell via Twitter

“That is terrible news!” — President Donald Trump via Twitter

“Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.” — Former President Barack Obama via Twitter

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning. He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary: five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals. But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability. He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna." — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in a statement

“Kobe Bryant was far and away the greatest athlete I had the privilege of representing during my 35 years as a player agent. And I represented many great athletes. I’ve known Kobe since he was a 17-year-old senior at Lower Merion High on Philadelphia's Main Line. He had a fearsome intellectual curiosity and his enthusiasm was contagious. The glint in his eyes wasn't just joy: It was sparks from a fire that couldn't be tamped down. To him, anything less than the best was failure. He deeply loved his wife Vanessa and the family they created, Natalia, Gianna, Bianka and Capri. He cherished his daughters and they were always his top priority. Losing Gianna makes this even more tragic. Kobe’s death is especially wrenching knowing what he was capable of, and what he might have accomplished in his post NBA life. He was already well on his way, continuing to have such an impactful life."— Arn Tellem, Bryant's former agent and now the Detroit Pistons' vice chairman.

“Just devastated to hear about #KobeBryant. An extraordinary athlete, and a genuinely kind, wonderful man. Sending love, prayers & compassion to his family. To his entire @NBA family as well.” — actress Reese Witherspoon via Twitter

“As I tweet through my tears, I am so hurt. I cannot stop crying. Kobe was instrumental to so many people. There is a hole in the basketball world and there will be for a long time. Rest in heavenly peace.” — the Rev. Jesse Jackson via Twitter

“Today we at @WaltDisneyCo mourn the tragic loss of @kobebryant...a giant in sports and a person so full of life. Terrible news and so hard to process....” — Robert Iger, chairman and CEO of Disney, via Twitter

“A true gladiator in our life time. You will be forever in our memories, our childrens memories, and generations to come.” — rapper Wyclef Jean via Twitter

“I'm at a loss for words. @kobebryant was a long-time friend, an inspiration and we shared our first ever commercial @espn together as professionals. I love you forever. #RIPMAMBA” — retired NFL player Keyshawn Johnson

“Shocked by the death of @kobebryant, an exemplary athlete both on and off the basketball court. Our most heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones. Rest in peace.” — FC Barcelona football club via Twitter

“Kobe Bryant Rest in Peace. Unbelievable, unbelievably sad...” — Basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas via Twitter

“Kobe’s support for the WNBA and women’s basketball along with his passion for helping young girls and boys follow their dreams made him a true legend for our sport. We admired him not just as a legendary basketball player, but as a father, a youth coach, and a role model for future generations of athletes.” — WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert in a statement

“Kobe Bryant was a giant who inspired, amazed and thrilled people everywhere with his incomparable skill on the court — and awed us with his intellect and humility as a father, husband, creative genius, and ambassador for the game he loved.” — Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles mayor, via Twitter

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP Entertainment, AP Online Recordings News, APOnline Celebrity News, AP Sports - NBA, AP Sports - WNBA
© Copyright 2020
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Lil Nas X win early Grammy Awards
“A Star Is Born” is having a rebirth at the 2020 Grammys: After winning two honors at last year’s show, the top-selling soundtrack won Lady Gaga two more awards Sunday
4:35PM ( 10 minutes ago )
The Latest: Beyoncé’s 'Homecoming' wins music film Grammy
Beyoncé is among the early winners at Sunday's Grammy Awards
4:31PM ( 14 minutes ago )
At Sundance, Lin-Manuel Miranda shares the spotlight
Lin-Manuel Miranda says that he knows “‘Hamilton’ is the first line in my obituary
4:13PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
FA Cup shock: Liverpool held 2-2 by 3rd-tier Shrewsbury
Premier League leader Liverpool has squandered a two-goal lead and been held to a 2-2 draw by third-tier Shrewsbury in the most surprising result in this season's FA Cup on Sunday
3:08PM ( 1 hour ago )
NHL players in favor of 'international flavor' All-Star idea
The NHL and players are in talks about adding an international twist to All-Star Weekend
2:45PM ( 2 hours ago )
Liverpool held 2-2 by 3rd-tier Shrewsbury in FA Cup shock
Premier League leader Liverpool has squandered a two-goal lead and been held to a 2-2 draw by third-tier Shrewsbury in the most surprising result in this season's FA Cup on Sunday
2:44PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
James passes Bryant on NBA scoring list in Lakers' loss
LeBron James scored 29 points and moved past Kobe Bryant for third on the NBA's career scoring list
12:22AM ( 16 hours ago )
No. 1 Baylor stifles Florida 72-61 for 16th straight victory
MaCio Teague and Devonte Bandoo scored 16 points apiece and No. 1 Baylor extended its winning steak to 16 with a 72-61 victory over Florida in the Big 12/SEC Challenge
11:31PM ( 17 hours ago )
LeBron James passes Kobe Bryant for 3rd on NBA scoring list
LeBron James moved past Kobe Bryant for third place on the NBA's career scoring list, getting the milestone on a driving layup against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night
10:47PM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
Simmons doc, sans Oprah, receives huge ovation at Sundance
Without Oprah or Apple, the Russell Simmons documentary “On the Record” went ahead with its premiere Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival, where the women who came forward with sexual assault allegations against the hip-hop mogul received one of the festival's most roaring receptions
2:46PM ( 1 hour ago )
'Bad Boys,' '1917' best 'The Gentleman' at box office
“Boys” trumped “Gentlemen” in movie theaters over the weekend as Will Smith and Martin Lawrence’s “Bad Boys for Life” easily remained the top ticket seller over newcomer “The Gentlemen
12:24PM ( 4 hours ago )
Dark cloud looms over new artists celebrating at Grammys
Lizzo, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X are walking into what should be one of the most exciting days of their careers as they attend their first-ever Grammy Awards on Sunday, where they are the top-nominated acts
9:16AM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Busch awaits turn in Rolex and Helio fumes after crash
Kyle Busch awaits his first stint in the Rolex 24 but will get a Lexus that is struggling on speed and handling
5:30PM ( 23 hours ago )
Salma Hayek apologizes for praising controversial new novel
Salma Hayek is apologizing for promoting a controversial new novel, Jeanine Cummins' “American Dirt,” without actually reading it
1:11PM ( 1 day ago )
Campaigning heats up in Iowa as caucus voting approaches
President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial has kept some of his Democrats rivals on Capitol Hill for part of Saturday
12:10PM ( 1 day ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
Mavs complete trade to acquire Cauley-Stein from Warriors
The Dallas Mavericks have completed a trade to acquire center Willie Cauley-Stein from Golden State for a second-round pick in this year's draft
2:27PM ( 1 day ago )
Leonard's 1st triple-double sends Clippers past Heat 122-117
Kawhi Leonard got his first career triple-double and scored 33 points, Landry Shamet added 22 and the Los Angeles Clippers shrugged off an early 15-point deficit before hanging on to beat the Miami Heat 122-117
12:15AM ( 1 day ago )
Gallinari scores 25, leads Thunder past Hawks 140-111
Danilo Gallinari scored 25 points to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Atlanta Hawks 140-111  for their fourth straight win
11:49PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - NBA
Virus death toll in China rises as US prepares evacuation
A new viral illness being watched with a wary eye around the globe has accelerated its spread in China with 56 deaths so far
4:09PM ( 36 minutes ago )
The Latest: Grammy show opens with moment of silence to Kobe
The Grammy Awards pre-telecast ceremony opened with a moment of silence for Kobe Bryant
4:03PM ( 42 minutes ago )
A look at some of Kobe Byrant's career highlights
Former NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash Sunday morning in California
3:57PM ( 48 minutes ago )
Defense resumes in key impeachment week; Dems seek witnesses
President Donald Trump's impeachment trial is entering a pivotal week
3:47PM ( 58 minutes ago )
AP source: Ex-NBA star Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash
Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash Sunday
3:44PM ( 1 hour ago )