In a week that is filled with excitement and anticipation of the upcoming Super Bowl, the sports world was dealt a crushing blow on Sunday morning. A day after Lebron James had passed him for third all-time in total points, Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles. The helicopter was carrying eight other passengers, including Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna. Sadly, there were no survivors. The world is in a state of shock and it is unbelievable that someone who was so iconic in the sports industry is gone. Kobe Bryant was someone that even the casual NBA fan was a fan of. Whether it was the highlights on SportsCenter or the occasional game on TV, Kobe was the epitome of sports entertainment. Kobe Bryant was always a deciding factor in what NBA game would be more entertaining. With 24 50+ point games, including the historic 81-point game in 2006, it was a safe bet that you would be entertained.
After hearing the tragic news, social media was filled with the reactions from the entire sports community. Surprisingly, it wasn’t all the things that Kobe had meant to basketball, like the 81-point game or the 5 championships. It was about who he was as a person, a father, and a leader. The world didn’t lose a great basketball player, the world lost a great man. There were several mentions of Bryant’s wife Vanessa and how she lost her husband and daughter. There were also mentions of the others involved in the crash including Orange Coast College baseball coaching legend John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their daughter Alyssa. It is certainly a tragedy that has affected so many lives inside and outside of the sports world. Here are some of the reactions from members of the basketball community.
Shaquille O’Neal took to Twitter to share his thoughts of his former teammate whom he played with from 1996-2004:
Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade also shared his condolences via Twitter:
Personalities from all around the sports world also tweeted out their condolences. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady tweeted his thoughts:
Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout commented on Kobe Bryant’s impact:
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter also took to Twitter to share his appreciation for Bryant:
Members of the Kansas City Chiefs also shared their thoughts about the passing of Kobe Bryant. Patrick Mahomes sent out prayers to the Bryant family:
Tyrann Mathieu shared his disbelief and how Kobe impacted competition:
Frank Clark spoke highly of Kobe Bryant, who is Clark’s idol:
Mecole Hardman expressed how life is short and we should appreciate our loved ones:
The last post from Hardman with Kobe and Gianna certainly hits home. I have four children, one of them being a daughter that is Gianna’s age. I share my knowledge of sports with all of my children and I am their biggest cheerleader in everything they do. Kobe Bryant was the same way. He was on his way to Gianna’s basketball game, knowingly something that he was more excited for than one of his own games. What Kobe Bryant has shown us in his years after the NBA is more important than what he showed us on the court. He showed us what it means to be a loving parent and, because tomorrow is never a guarantee, he showed us that we should cherish every moment that parents have with their children. Take in their interests, coach them in sports. Whatever it is, enjoy every moment because there is no forever. Because of this horrific event, I will hug my children a little tighter and a little longer and as often as I can.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Bryant family, the Altobelli family, and all the other lives that were lost in this terrible tragedy.