The tragic news of basketball legend Kobe Bryant’s death Sunday sent shockwaves over social media.
Staples Center, the home court of the Los Angeles Lakers, is already awash with fans hoping to pay their respects to the 18-time NBA All-Star who won five NBA championships, two Finals MVPs and one-regular season MVP over the course of 20 seasons with the Lakers.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued the following statement: “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. He will live forever in the heart of Los Angeles and will be remembered through the ages as one of our greatest heroes. This is a moment that leaves us struggling to find words that express the magnitude of shock and sorrow we are all feeling right now, and I am keeping Kobe’s entire family in my prayers at this time of unimaginable grief.”
After his basketball career, Bryant became an entrepreneur in the world of media and entertainment and won an Academy Award for the animated film “Dear Basketball.”
At a Times panel at the Sundance Film Festival Sunday afternoon, actor Colman Domingo spoke about how many artists at the fest — including Nnamdi Asomugha, a friend of Bryant’s who departed early from the panel — were affected by the loss of the NBA star and filmmaker.
A bevy of sports stars and celebrities also mourned the fallen star and took to social media to pay their respects:
In shock right now. RIP Kobe 😢— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) January 26, 2020
My💔Goes Out To Kobe’s Family,Friends,Fans. It’s SO HARD To Deal With The Death Of a GREAT STAR,Because We Feel As If We Knew Them Personally.Kobe Bryant Was a GREAT ATHLETE,& All Of America Will Feel His Loss.— Cher (@cher) January 26, 2020
The 🌎 Has Lost a Bright Light ✨🌟✨.
Kobe was truly larger than life, a legend. May he and all those who lost their lives today rest in peace. Love and condolences to his family. LA will never be the same.— Leonardo DiCaprio (@LeoDiCaprio) January 26, 2020
Like everyone, I’m stunned and saddened by the news about Kobe Bryant. My heart is broken for his wife and family.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) 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
RIP Kobe, hero to many including my grandson, extraordinary athlete and always kind to me & my family. My deepest condolences to his family— Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) January 26, 2020
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
I cannot believe this is real. My god. Oh my god.— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) January 26, 2020
heart broken. chest tight. chills. childhood hero. inspiration on so many levels. if you know me, you know. i modeled my music career after watching you master your basketball craft & for that i’m forever in debt. thank you. RIP Kobe Bryant #8 #24— black (@6LACK) January 26, 2020
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This makes me so sad. Kobe you were always so sweet to me. Known you over 10 years.. not super well but we always joked about you coming over and playing that game of horse! You will he so missed by so many. You’re a legend with wings now. RIP Kobe 💔💔💔 *update* I just heard his daughter Gigi was also in the accident and it breaks my heart. This whole family was so sweet and now they’re in my prayers heavy. RIP Gigi beautiful girl. 💔💔💔
Same. This is just...💔#RIPKobeBryant— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) January 26, 2020
I’m telling y’all life is short and it is NOT about what we think it is.
Get right. Do right. Be right.
Love is it.
Love is all we’ve got.
Our love is all that will remain when we’re gone.
Especially when we’re gone too soon. https://t.co/5Imz4rbfXX
Jesus this is heartbreaking.— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) January 26, 2020
My Heart is broken...RIP Kobe. God Bless his family!— DJ Jazzy Jeff (@djjazzyjeff215) January 26, 2020
Nooooooooooo God please No!— DWade (@DwyaneWade) January 26, 2020
We miss you already Kobe ❤️❤️🙏🏼🙏🏼— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) January 26, 2020