The sudden death of former Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna on Jan. 26 shocked the world. Bryant, his daughter, and seven other people died after a helicopter they traveling to a basketball game in crashed outside of Los Angeles.
As news quickly spread over social media of the crash and Bryant’s death, celebrities and fans posted their tributes, condolences and memories for the world-class athlete.
The most common reaction was outright shock at the sudden and tragic loss of Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. TV celebrity and wife of singer John Legend Chrissy Teigen perfectly summed up how many people reacted upon seeing or hearing the news.
Comedian and movie star Kevin Hart posted his confusion over the deaths on his Instagram account.
“This honestly doesn’t make sense…I just saw you man,” Hart posted. “This hurts my heart.”
Fellow NBA players, both current and retired, also poured out their hearts online. Former Lakers teammate Shaquille O’Neill posted photos and thoughts about his relationship with Bryant.
“There are no words to express the pain I’m going through now with this tragic and sad moment of losing my niece Gigi and my friend, my brother and my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie,” Shaq wrote in his first post after Bryant’s death was confirmed.
Bryant’s death also hung heavy in the hearts and minds of those in attendance at the Grammy Awards Sunday night. Ceremony host Alicia Keys opened the Grammys with a moving tribute to Bryant as she took the stage at Los Angeles’ Staples Center.
“Earlier today Los Angeles, America and the whole, wide world lost a hero. We’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built,” Keys said. CBS captured the clip in a tweet.
Keyes then began to sing “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” along with musical artists Boys II Men, who originally recorded the song, as a tribute to those lost in the crash.
NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shared his memories of Kobe Bryant beyond the basketball court in his Twitter tribute.
Most people will remember Kobe as the magnificent athlete who inspired a whole generation of basketball players. But I will always remember him as a man who was much more than an athlete. pic.twitter.com/9EZuwk8wrV
— Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (@kaj33) January 26, 2020
Jennifer Lopez posted a beautiful family picture of the Bryants along with her words of sympathy and condolences to Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, and the rest of the family in mourning, stating “family is what matters most.”
Bryant left behind his wife Vanessa and three other children: Natalia, age 17, Bianka, age 3 and Capri, who was just turned 7 months old last week.
Our heartfelt condolences to all who lost someone in the crash.