New Delhi: The death of NBA star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash on Sunday sent shockwaves across the world. Of course, celebrities from all walks of life including the sports community joined in to pay their tribute to one of the most celebrated basketball players in the game’s history. Seven others also died in the helicopter crash on Sunday morning in Calabasas, northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
Indian cricket skipper Virat Kohli was “absolutely devastated” at the sudden demise of Bryant. Presently on tour of New Zealand, Kohli recalled his childhood memories of watching the “magician doing things on the court”.
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Absolutely devastated to hear this news today. So many childhood memories of waking up early and watching this magician doing things on the court that I would be mesmerized by. Life is so unpredictable and fickle. His daughter Gianna passed away too in the crash. Iam absolutely Heartbroken. Rest in peace. Strength and condolences to the family 🙏
Vice-captain Rohit Sharma also posted a photograph of the retired LA Lakers star along with his daughter Gianna and wrote, “Sad day for the sporting world today. One of the greats of the game gone too soon. Rest in peace Kobe Bryant and his little daughter Gianna and the other victims.”
Sachin Tendulkar took to Twitter to pay tribute to one of the greatest hoopsters. “Saddened to hear about the tragic demise of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna & others on-board the helicopter. My condolences to his family, friends and fans across the world. #KobeBryant,” the Master Blaster tweeted.
Other Indian cricket players like Harbhajan Singh, Shreyas Iyer, Jaspirt Bumrah, Mayank Agarwal and Ajinkya Rahane also paid condolences to Bryant and his daughter on social media.
Team India head coach Ravi Shastri also remembered the Philadelphia-born basketball legend, who retired in 2016. “Absolutely devastated by the tragic news of Kobe Bryant and his daughter. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and fans across the globe #KobeBryantRIP #KobeForever #Kobe,” Shastri tweeted.
According to CNN, Bryant and his daughter were expected at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for a basketball game scheduled on Sunday. Former Australian cricketing legend Shane Warne said he was “stunned, shocked and saddened” to hear the horrific news about Kobe Bryant and his 13 year old daughter who died in a helicopter crash. Caribbean all-rounder Sir Vivian Richards remembered him as a “true legend of the sporting world.”
“A true legend of the sporting world! Rest In Peace dear Kobe and his daughter. May the family have immense strength to overcome this sad time. #RIPLegend,” tweeted Richards. Tennis world No 1 Rafael Nadal paid his tribute to Bryant, who had the nickname ‘Black Mamba’. “I woke up this morning with the horrible news of the tragic death of one of the greatest sportsmen in the world. Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and other passengers. My condolences to his wife and families. I am in shock,” he tweeted.
I woke up this morning with the horrible news of the tragic death of one of the greatest sportsman in the world. Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and other passengers. My condolences to his wife and families. I am in shock.
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) January 27, 2020
Barcelona star Lionel Messi posted a picture of Bryant in his Los Angeles Lakers jersey on Instagram. Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo also posted a photograph of Bryant on Instagram and called him a “true legend”. “So sad to hear the heartbreaking news of the deaths of Kobe and his daughter Gianna. Kobe was a true legend and inspiration to so many. Sending my condolences to his family and friends and the families of all who lost their lives in the crash. RIP Legend,” he posted.
Olympian boxer MC Mary Kom posted a photograph of Bryant and his family and wrote, “RIP Bryant, Black Mamba. May God give peace to the bereaved family. #ripkobebryant “The Black Mamba.”