Kobe Bryant dies at 41
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement today regarding the passing of Kobe Bryant, saying the 5-time NBA champion "showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning."
“The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna," Silver said. "For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning. He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary: five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals. But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability. 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."
Silver added: “We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Vanessa, and their family, the Lakers organization and the entire sports world.”
The popular basketball video game NBA 2K is paying tribute today to Kobe Bryant on the game's log in screen.
The screen shows a black and white image of Bryant with the words "Kobe Bryant 1978-2020."
Nike, a longtime business partner of Kobe Bryant, said it was "devastated" over the news of his death today in California.
"Along with millions of athletes and fans throughout the world, we are devastated by today’s tragic news. We extend our deepest sympathies to those closest to Kobe, especially his family and friends. He was one of the greatest athletes of his generation and has had an immeasurable impact on the world of sport and the community of basketball. He was a beloved member of the Nike family. We will miss him greatly. Mamba forever," the company said in a statement.
Politicians joined celebrities and athletes in responding to Kobe Bryant's death today.
"Heartbroken by the loss of Kobe Bryant and his daughter," said Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. "PA will never forget our time as Kobe’s home."
Former Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tweeted a video discussing Kobe Bryant, saying his death was a "loss that's hard to comprehend."
Abdul-Jabbar played for the Lakers from 1975-1989.
Former President Barack Obama used Twitter to share his thoughts and condolences over Kobe Bryant's death, saying the legendary NBA star was "just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act."
Read Obama's tweet:
NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter were expected at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for a basketball game scheduled for noon today.
Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Maria Onore Bryant, was expected to play in the game and Kobe Bryant was expected to coach, according to Lady Mavericks team director Evelyn Morales.
The game was expected to be played against the team Lady Pride and was part of a tournament in the Mamba Cup Series.
USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan told CNN on air today that Kobe Bryant was more than sports.
“In many ways he was the Los Angeles Lakers. When you think of Kobe Bryant, it's sports, but it's more than sports. He was part of our culture, Olympic teams, Hollywood, the father of four daughters. He has been seen at women’s sporting events supporting the US women’s soccer team, WNBA games with his girls, and all about the empowerment of young women," Brennan told CNN.
Shaquille O'Neal mourned the death of his former Lakers teammate today on Twitter where he said "there's no words to express the pain I'm going through."
O'Neal played on the Lakers from 1996-2004 and won three championships with the team.
O'Neal expanded on his thoughts on Bryant more in a later post on Instagram.
"Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man," O'Neal wrote. "That was what we had most in common."