Sports icons took to societal websites to offer their condolences on the passing of basketball superstar Kobe Bryant.
Bryant, 41, died on Sunday when a helicopter he was riding in crashed and burst into flames in thick fog, killing all nine people on board such as his teenage daughter Gianna. Kobe was traveling along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven other people once the helicopter crashed right into a rugged hillside at Calabasas, California.
Indian men’s cricket teams captain Virat Kohli submitted a photo of the basketball legend with the caption: “Absolutely devastated to hear this news now. So many childhood memories of waking up early and viewing this magician doing things on the court I would be mesmerized by. Life is so unpredictable and fickle. His daughter Gianna passed too in the wreck. I am Heartbroken. Rest in peace. Strength and condolences to your family”
Rohit Sharma wrote : “Sad day in sporting world today, one of the greats of the game gone too soon. Rest in peace Kobe Bryant and his little daughter Gianna.”
Sachin Tendulkar wrote: “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.”
Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo also posted a picture of Bryant and said: “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.”
“I adored Kobe – that was just like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I’ll miss those discussions very much,” six-time NBA winner Michael Jordan was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.
“He was a fierce competition, among the greats of the sport plus a creative force. Kobe was also a wonderful father who loved his family deeply – and also took great pride in his daughter’s love for the sport of basketball,” he added.
Bryant completed his career as the Lakers’ all-time leading points scorer and is fourth on the NBA’s all-time list with 33,643 points. He won gold to the US in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
Bryant also has an Academy Award to his name due to his animated short film”Dear Basketball” in 2018.