MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Retired NBA player Kobe Bryant died Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, according to CBS Los Angeles. He was 41.
Bryant was one of nine people killed in the crash involving a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter. His daughter, Gianna, was also killed.
The Timberwolves and the Lynx issued a joint statement from the two Minnesota basketball teams, saying they are both “deeply saddened” by the passing of Bryant and his daughter.
“Few players have had the worldwide impact on the game of basketball that Kobe did,” the statement said. “His immense presence was felt not only on the court, but off the court as a husband, father, mentor and entrepreneur. The NBA and the world are in a better place because of Kobe and our thoughts and prayers go out to Kobe’s wife, Vanessa, their family and the Lakers organization.”
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns reacted to Sunday’s news, tweeting “I’m numb.”
— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) January 26, 2020
A number of his Timberwolves teammates, such as Shabazz Napier, Gorgui Dieng and Robert Covington, also posted reactions on Twitter, expressing heartbreak for the NBA legend’s death and sympathy for his grieving family.
This can’t be real 😭. We lost a legend The only time I got to go against you in my career. Thank you mamba pic.twitter.com/NY9BWiWhat
— Robert Covington (@Holla_At_Rob33) January 26, 2020
😢 K824 ❤️ YOU
— Shabazz Napier (@ShabazzNapier) January 26, 2020
prayers to his family 🙏🏿 #ripKobe
— Gorgui Dieng (@GorguiDieng) January 26, 2020
Basketball fans in the Twin Cities were among those across the globe mourning Bryant’s death. At a high school basketball tournament in Edina, one player wrote “RIP Kobe” on his shoes.
Now at middle school basketball tournament at Edina HS. Kobe Bryant was only briefly part of the NBA in which they grew up as fans, but one player still made sure his shoes were dedicated to the Mamba today. @WCCO pic.twitter.com/VEguSz00lj
— Jeff Wagner (@Jeff_Wagner4) January 26, 2020
Not only basketball players were expressing shock and grief. Current and former Vikings players, such as Stefon Diggs, Adrian Peterson and Randy Moss, were among those posting Sunday about what Bryant meant to them.
— DIGGS (@stefondiggs) January 26, 2020
I can’t even put the words together for this….not Kobe
— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) January 26, 2020
MAMBA MENTALITY 4 LIFE!!! THIS WAS REALLY MJ IN MY EYES! I FELT LIKE THIS WAS THE GREATEST PLAYER TO EVER LIVE! THATS IF YOU ASK ME… LIKE WE JUST LOST SUPER MAN💯🐐… IM TREATING THIS LIFE SHIT LIKE KOBE FROM NOW ON… IF I WANT A BUCKET IMA GO GET IT #BallinLikeIm24 4L🏆 pic.twitter.com/GyXvbVI1kk
— G HERBO (@gherbo) January 26, 2020
A tribute to Bryant also appeared on U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis.
— Aaron Goodyear (@acgoodyear) January 27, 2020
President Donald Trump also posted about Bryant’s death, calling the crash “terrible news.”
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
Former President Barack Obama also tweeted, sending his love and prayers to Bryant’s family on this “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