The love that others had for this legend came out in waves as people took to social media to share their condolences and pain.
On January 26, 2020, news broke that the helicopter carrying NBA legend, Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna and seven members and coaches of her team, had crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California, after the pilot tried to rise above the cloud cover due to fog, according to CNN. All nine people on board, including the pilot, died. And it was an event that shocked people around the world, leaving a trail of broken hearts.
People have come out in droves to pay tribute to the much-loved basketball star who was known as an amazing father and family man. Numerous celebrities have opened up about the pain they feel at the loss of the basketball star.
Fellow basketball player LeBron James is "heartbroken" and "devasted" at the passing of his friend. Taking to Instagram, he said, “I’m Not Ready but here I go. Man I[‘m] sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try, I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had! I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to L.A. Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have. WTF!! I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!! Man I love you big bro. My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids. I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man! You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation and it’s my responsibility to put this shit on my back and keep it going!!”
Talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres, had tears in her eyes while addressing her audience. She reminds them to celebrate life in the wake of her friend's death. “Life is short and it’s fragile, and we don’t know how many birthdays we get so just — you don’t have to have a birthday to celebrate — just celebrate life,” she said. “And if you haven’t told someone you love them, do it now… Call your friends, text your friends, kiss them, be nice to the people at the DMV."
More than ever, I’m grateful for every day. pic.twitter.com/vMEtDUG7ds— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 28, 2020
Another talk show host, Jimmy Fallon could barely keep his emotions in check as he recalled the memory of his and Bryant's meeting.
Former President, Barack Obama, too, shared his sentiments and sadness.
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.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 26, 2020
Stars like Whoopi Goldberg, Dwayne Wade, Trevor Noah, Nick Jonas, Taylor Swift and more sent their condolences and expressed their pain over his loss.
RIP Kobe, hero to many including my grandson, extraordinary athlete and always kind to me & my family. My deepest condolences to his family— Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) January 26, 2020
Nooooooooooo God please No!— DWade (@DwyaneWade) January 26, 2020
Jesus this is heartbreaking.— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) January 26, 2020
This is heartbreaking. Rest In Peace Kobe.— Nick Jonas (@nickjonas) January 26, 2020
My heart is in pieces hearing the news of this unimaginable tragedy. I can’t fathom what the families are going through. Kobe meant so much to me and to us all. Sending my prayers, love, and endless condolences to Vanessa and the family and anyone who lost someone on that flight.— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) January 26, 2020
Fellow retired Lakers teammate, Shaquille O'Neal took to Instagram to say alongside pictures of the friends together, "There are no words to express the pain I’m going through now with this tragic and sad moment of loosing my neice Gigi & my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie. I love you and you will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW !"
Kobe’s former NBA team, the Los Angeles Lakers, also shared a touching tribute to the athlete on Twitter, writing:
We can confirm that Kobe Bryant passed away today from the causes of a helicopter accident.— Los Angeles Lakers Fans (@LakersFans_US) January 26, 2020
The entire Los Angeles Lakers family wishes to support their family and friends.
RIP KOBE 🙏❤️ pic.twitter.com/FdqwpAFoGY
But it isn't just celebrities trying to honor the "Black Mamba". Los Angeles airport took to Twitter to say:
Tonight, LAX’s pylons will be lit in purple and gold in memory of Kobe Bryant, his daughter and all those who were with them in today’s unthinkable accident. Kobe was in many ways a symbol of Los Angeles and we join his family, fans and city in mourning all who were lost today. pic.twitter.com/HGX5AaSDBG— LAX Airport (@flyLAXairport) January 27, 2020
During the 2020 Grammy's, the ceremony opened with a heartfelt tribute, according to the BBC. With the show happening at Staples Center, home to the Los Angeles Lakers, pop star Lizzo said, "Tonight is for you Kobe," before singing her stirring ballad Cuz I Love You. Following that was host Alicia Keys who dedicated the show to Bryant's memory, with an acapella version of It's So Hard To Say Goodbye, accompanied by Boyz II Men.
In her opening speech as well, Keys acknowledged the sober mood. "Here we are together on music's biggest night, celebrating our artists that do it best," she began "but, to be honest with you were all feeling crazy sadness right now, because earlier today Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero. And we're literally standing here, heartbroken, in the house that Kobe Bryant built. Right now, Kobe and his family and all of those that have been tragically lost today are in our spirits, in our hearts, in our prayers, they're in this building. I would like everybody to take a moment and hold them inside of you and share our strength and our support with their families. I know how much Kobe loved music, so we got to make this a celebration in his honor."
R.I.P Kobe Bryant and all those who lost their lives in the crash.