Celebrities tributes outpour for Kobe Bryant
A helicopter accident has tragically claimed the lives of Kobe Bryant, NBA superstar, his daughter Gianna Maria Onore Bryant, along with 7 others.
It happened on Sunday January 26th in California while the, travelled to a youth basketball game.
Bryant’s death has sent shockwaves through the NBA and here in hometown Toronto. No one can forget his 81 points scored for the Lakers against the Toronto Raptors in 2006, nor the much-relieved missed shot at the buzzer in a 2010 game where the Raptors won 106-105.
A few days after the incident, Vanessa Bryant shared:
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My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️
Many celebrities wished well to Bryant’s family in a number of tributes on social media:
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I’m Not Ready but here I go. Man I 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 LA. 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!! Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here! There’s so much more I want to say but just can’t right now because I can’t get through it! Until we meet again my brother!! #Mamba4Life❤️🙏🏾 #Gigi4Life❤️🙏🏾
Kobe’s final tweet was one directed to Lebron James:
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020
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Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man. That was what we had most in common. We love our families. Whenever we got together I would hug his children like they were my own and he would embrace my kids like they were his. His baby girl Gianna was born on the same day as my youngest daughter Me’Arah. I miss you already brother. This is truly unbelievable. Everyone please keep the Bryant’s in your prayers. R.I.P
Michael Jordan called Bryant a fierce competitor and a “creative force.” “I loved Kobe — he was like a little brother to me,” Jordan said in a statement issued by his spokesperson. “We used to talk often and I will miss those conversations very much.”
My heart is broken for Kobe and his family. I’ll never forget the battles but what I really admired was the father he was to his girls. Rest In Peace old friend with your angel Gianna 💔
— Steve Nash (@SteveNash) January 26, 2020
you'll always be in my heart… my big brother… 💛 pic.twitter.com/ytJ2JDKNaB
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) January 28, 2020
From an early age, Toronto Raptors guard and San Diego native grew up idolizing Kobe Bryant.
“He meant everything. I model the whole mentality of being an ultimate competitor, grinding, working day in and day out, sacrificing a lot of things to get to where you want to be. I try to implement that in my game.” Bryant’s influence impacts “the way I go about basketball, life, competing, working to be the best. Maximizing the God-given abilities, just like he did.”
DeMar DeRozan, who scored 14 points, consoled Walker even as he battled his own emotions. DeRozan, who was raised in Compton, California, was a fan of Bryant growing up and became close friends with him.
“Everything. Everything,” DeRozan said when asked what Bryant meant to him. “Everything I’ve learned came from Kobe, everything. Take Kobe away, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t have love, I wouldn’t have the passion, the drive. Everything came from him.”
— P.K. Subban (@PKSubban1) January 26, 2020
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
Alicia Keys at the 62nd Grammys:
“We never imagined in a million years we’d have to start the show like this,” she said. “So we wanted to do something that could describe, a tiny bit, how we all feel right now.” – host Alicia Keys.
Elle Duncan retold of her initial meeting of Kobe with ESPN:
— Michael Eaves (@michaeleaves) January 28, 2020