On this day last year, 9 people were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gigi, were on board and among the victims. Kobe was 41. Gigi was 13.
Bryant’s death sent shockwaves through the sports world and beyond. Even one year later, athletes, fans, and folks across the globe are still reckoning with Bryant’s unexpected and tragic death.
Athletes, sports figures, and others paid tribute to the Black Mamba today.
Pau Gasol remembered his longtime friend and teammate via social media this afternoon.
Kyrie Irving wore Bryant’s No. 8 jersey before last night’s matchup with the Miami Heat. And today he told reporters about the first time he faced Kobe.
Irving’s new teammate, James Harden, said Kobe “was my idol growing up. It was just a blessing to be on the same court as him.”
Billie Jean King called Kobe “a champion of basketball, but also of women’s sports.”
Paul George shared old photos embracing Kobe.
Kevin Love posted a picture with Kobe as well. “Still doesn’t seem real,” Love wrote on instagram.
The UConn women’s basketball team shared a handwritten letter they received from Gigi back in 2017. “She loved being around the Huskies, and we loved being around her,” the team wrote on twitter.
Lakers legend Magic Johnson also penned multiple posts about his friend.
LA Ram Cooper Kupp paid tribute to the SoCal sports legend as well.
NFL films posted a behind the scenes video from last year’s Pro Bowl. The news of Kobe’s death broke just before the game kicked off.
Emmitt Smith said Kobe was “one of the greatest competitors the world has ever known.”
UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou paid his respects to Kobe and Gigi as well.
Artists and other celebrities also remembered the basketball legend.