Athletes, Celebrities and Politicians React to the News of Kobe Bryant's Death

Former basketball player Kobe Bryant was killed on Sunday along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people in a helicopter accident in Calabasas, California. He was 41.

Naturally, the news of the tragedy has generated numerous reactions on social media, including from sports stars, celebrities and politicians.

Kobe Bryant at "Just Mercy" Premiere
Kobe Bryant attends the LA Community Screening of Warner Bros Pictures' "Just Mercy" at Cinemark Baldwin Hills on January 06, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Tommaso Boddi/Getty

Basketball great Shaquille O'Neal, who was Bryant's teammate on the Los Angeles Lakers, wrote on Twitter: "There's no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW"

There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW pic.twitter.com/pigHywq3c1

— SHAQ (@SHAQ) January 26, 2020

"I'm so sad and stunned right now," musical artist John Legend wrote on Twitter. "In Staples Arena, where Kobe created so many memories for all of us, preparing to pay tribute to another brilliant man we lost too soon, Nipsey Hussle. Life can be so brutal and senseless sometimes. Hold on to your loved ones. We miss you, Kobe."

I'm so sad and stunned right now. In Staples Arena, where Kobe created so many memories for all of us, preparing to pay tribute to another brilliant man we lost too soon, Nipsey Hussle. Life can be so brutal and senseless sometimes. Hold on to your loved ones. We miss you, Kobe

— John Legend (@johnlegend) January 26, 2020
Twitter

Fellow NBA player Dwyane Wade also shared a tweet that appeared to be a reaction to Bryant's death.

Nooooooooooo God please No!

— DWade (@DwyaneWade) January 26, 2020
Twitter

The Congressional Black Caucus of the United States Congress also paid tribute to Bryant in a tweet. The account termed him "[o]ne of the greatest NBA players of all time."

"Kobe Bryant's accomplishments surpassed sports," the tweet from the account read. "He inspired generations of athletes on & off the court. May he & all those lost in this accident Rest In Peace."

Winner of 5 NBA championships.
First-round pick in the 1996 draft.
One of the greatest NBA players of all time.

Kobe Bryant's accomplishments surpassed sports. He inspired generations of athletes on & off the court.

May he & all those lost in this accident Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/dxlcdXsPZ1

— The Black Caucus (@TheBlackCaucus) January 26, 2020
Twitter

Comedian and actor Richard Lewis lauded Bryant's athletic accomplishments and personality.

"The Kobe news is just awful," he wrote. "Having spent two years at the Turner Sports family I know how hard this will hit everyone around basketball. He was a beloved icon and even his rivals couldn't stay mad at him. We're all deprived of seeing what greatness he would have achieved next."

The Kobe news is just awful. Having spent two years at the Turner Sports family I know how hard this will hit everyone around basketball. He was a beloved icon and even his rivals couldn't stay mad at him. We're all deprived of seeing what greatness he would have achieved next. pic.twitter.com/k5YN0GFzSn

— Richard Lewis (@RLewisReports) January 26, 2020
Twitter

Tennis icon Billie Jean King sent her condolences to Bryant's friends, family and team members.

"This is a horrible tragedy," she wrote. "Kobe was one of the best to ever play the game of basketball. May he Rest In Peace."

Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of @kobebryant, as well as to the entire Lakers family. This is a horrible tragedy. Kobe was one of the best to ever play the game of basketball. May he Rest In Peace.

— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) January 26, 2020
Twitter

California Senator Kamala Harris expressed her condolences, writing: "Devastating news for Los Angeles and the entire country. Kobe Bryant's impact on basketball and sports was unquestionable. He will remain an inspiration to many for years to come. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones."

Devastating news for Los Angeles and the entire country. Kobe Bryant's impact on basketball and sports was unquestionable. He will remain an inspiration to many for years to come. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones. https://t.co/ue4rxUVwcV

— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) January 26, 2020

President Donald Trump also referenced Bryant's death, and wrote that it was "terrible news" that the "basketball great" had passed.

Reports are that basketball great Kobe Bryant and three others have been killed in a helicopter crash in California. That is terrible news!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2020
Twitter

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady wrote: "We miss you already Kobe."

We miss you already Kobe ❤️❤️🙏🏼🙏🏼

— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) January 26, 2020

Author Roxane Gay wrote that her feelings were with Bryant's wife, Vanessa, and their children.

"There are going to be a lot of complicated reactions to Kobe Bryant's death but I feel all the sympathy in the world for Vanessa Bryant and their four daughters," Gay wrote 41 is so young. And he had a spectacular professional career."

There are going to be a lot of complicated reactions to Kobe Bryant’s death but I feel all the sympathy in the world for Vanessa Bryant and their four daughters. 41 is so young. And he had a spectacular professional career.

— roxane gay (@rgay) January 26, 2020
Twitter

Ashley Scott, an actress, said that Bryant's death was "heart breaking."

"God bless your family @kobebryant through this time of unmeasurable loss," she wrote. "Sending so much love and support.

Heart breaking. God bless your family @kobebryant through this time of unmeasurable loss. Sending so much love and support. #KobeBryant

— Ashley Scott (@ashleyscott) January 26, 2020
Twitter

The NBA issued a statement about Bryant from commissioner Adam Silver via Twitter that read in part: "He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna."

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement today regarding the passing of Kobe Bryant pic.twitter.com/P88GwIwmYV

— NBA (@NBA) January 26, 2020

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg shared his thoughts of Bryant late in the day: "The loss of his daughter Gianna is unthinkable. My deepest sympathies are with the Bryant family, the families of those lost, and everyone impacted by this tragedy."

Kobe’s magnificence on the basketball court brought him fame and titles, but his greatest pride was being a father. The loss of his daughter Gianna is unthinkable. My deepest sympathies are with the Bryant family, the families of those lost, and everyone impacted by this tragedy.

— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) January 26, 2020

Basketball legend and former Lakers player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tweeted: "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."

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

Former President Barack Obama also expressed his condolences: "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."

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

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes sent out a message:

Man not Kobe... Prayers to his family and friends! #RIPMamba

— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) January 26, 2020

Updated 8:18 PM ET.