LOS ANGELES (AP) — Reaction from the basketball world and beyond on the death of retired NBA superstar Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash on Sunday at age 41:
“Stunned!” — Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green wrote on Twitter
“Today, the world lost a legend. Kobe Bryant’s 20 year career with the @Lakers raised the bar for every player. He willed his team to triumphs. Competed with unparalleled ferocity. Defied the odds. Simply put — he was an icon. Our hearts go out to his family and fans.” — California Gov. Gavin Newsom via Twitter
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“We were incredibly saddened and shocked to learn about the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, earlier today in the Los Angeles area. Kobe was one of the iconic players in the history of the NBA and touched fans in every market, including the Bay Area, for 20 years. His unquenchable desire and drive to be the best elevated him to a level that few have ever reached and enabled him to leave a legacy that will be celebrated for generations. We extend our thoughts and prayers to his family, the entire Lakers organization and his legion of fans around the world.” — Golden State Warriors via e-mail
Warriors star Stephen Curry didn’t say much but shared a photo of himself embracing Bryant after a game on Instagram. “A lot of questions right now. Our faith is being tested…but all I can say is thank you. May you and Gianna rest easy!”
Individual members of the San Francisco 49ers also offered their sympathies on social media.
“That hurts so bad,” said Dre Greenlaw.
Cornerback Richard Sherman said, “Just don’t have words… #Kobe.”
“Woow (sic) this just can’t be real dawg!!” Kwon Alexander tweeted.
“Kobe Bryant was a giant who inspired, amazed and thrilled people everywhere with his incomparable skill on the court — and awed us with his intellect and humility as a father, husband, creative genius, and ambassador for the game he loved.” — Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles mayor, via Twitter
“Kobe was not only an icon in the sports arena, he was a man of the world and touched so many lives and communities in the most positive ways. His star was continuing to rise every day and he knew no limits because of his many intellectual and creative talents and desire to give back to others – his passion for the game, for his family and for others was apparent in everything he accomplished.” — NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird
“Jeannine & I are absolutely shocked to hear of the loss of one of my favorite people & one of the best basketball minds in the history of the game! Our hearts and prayers to Vanessa & his girls. @kobebryant you were my biggest fan, but I was yours. #RIPMAMBA” — NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell via Twitter
“Kobe Bryant Rest in Peace. Unbelievable, unbelievably sad…” — NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas via Twitter
“Just devastated to hear about #KobeBryant. An extraordinary athlete, and a genuinely kind, wonderful man. Sending love, prayers & compassion to his family. To his entire @NBA family as well.” — actress Reese Witherspoon via Twitter
“As I tweet through my tears, I am so hurt. I cannot stop crying. Kobe was instrumental to so many people. There is a hole in the basketball world and there will be for a long time. Rest in heavenly peace.” — the Rev. Jesse Jackson via Twitter
“Today we at @WaltDisneyCo mourn the tragic loss of @kobebryant…a giant in sports and a person so full of life. Terrible news and so hard to process….” — Robert Iger, chairman and CEO of Disney, via Twitter
“I’m at a loss for words. @kobebryant was a long-time friend, an inspiration and we shared our first ever commercial @espn together as professionals. I love you forever. #RIPMAMBA” — Retired NFL player Keyshawn Johnson
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