Kobe Bryant death: World reflects on basketball legend's life

CALABASAS, Calif. -- Basketball legend Kobe Bryant died Sunday in a helicopter crash that killed eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. He was 41 years old.

From politicians to fellow athletes, the world seems to be taking a moment to reflect on the life of the retired NBA star, known as a prolific scorer and relentless competitive ethic.

Here are some notable reactions:

LEBRON JAMES
Although fellow basketball star LeBron James has yet to react to the news of Bryant's death, he recently reflected on the influence that the "Black Mamba" had on his own life.

"I was in high school, going up through the ranks when Kobe came into the league ... I was like, 'Wow. A 17-year-old, 18-year-old kid being able to make that leap.' That's pretty damn cool," he told SportsCenter Saturday.



KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR
"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."



EMBED More News Videos

Retired NBA player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar talks passing of basketball legend Kobe Bryant in a Calabasas helicopter crash Sunday.



MICHAEL JORDAN
"I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe's and Gianna's passing. Words cannot describe the pain I'm feeling. I loved Kobe - he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much. He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force. Kobe was also an amazing dad who loved his family deeply - and took great pride in his daughter's love for the game of basketball. Yvette joins me in sending the deepest condolences to Vanessa, the Lakers organization and basketball fans around the world."


SHAQUILLE O'NEAL
"There's no words to express the pain I'm going through now with this tragic and sad moment of loosing my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie. I love you brother and you will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW !"



PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
President Donald Trump tweeted that it was "terrible news" when he heard about the helicopter crash.

He later tweeted, "Kobe Bryant, despite being one of the truly great basketball players of all time, was just getting started in life. He loved his family so much, and had such strong passion for the future. The loss of his beautiful daughter, Gianna, makes this moment even more devastating.....Melania and I send our warmest condolences to Vanessa and the wonderful Bryant family. May God be with you all!"



PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
"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."



PHIL JACKSON
"The crash was a tragedy for multiple families. My heart goes out to Vanessa and the families that lost loved ones. Kobe was a chosen one-special in many ways to many people. Our relationship as coach/player transcended the norm. He went beyond the veil."

DWAYNE WADE
The former Miami Heat star took to Twitter, saying "Nooooooooooo God please No!"


EMBED More News Videos

Professional athletes, celebrities and world leaders are mourning the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash Sunday in Calabasas, California.



NBA COMMISSIONER ADAM SILVER
"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."



SHAREEF O'NEAL
The college athlete and son of Shaquille O'Neal tweeted a screenshot of a text from Bryant and wrote, "I love you forever unc."



SCOTTIE PIPPEN
"I'm stunned. Words can't even come close to describing it. Just an incredibly sad and tragic day."



JOEL EMBIID
"Man I don't even know where to start. I started playing ball because of KOBE after watching the 2010 finals. I had never watched ball before that and that finals was the turning point of my life. I WANTED TO BE LIKE KOBE. I'm so FREAKING SAD right now!!!! RIP LEGEND"

PAU GASOL
"Beyond devastated... my big brother... I can't, I just can't believe it."

CHRISSY TEIGEN
"Downtown right now and nothing feels more unimportant than what we are doing today. This is absolutely terrible. Everyone is numb."



KHLOE KARDASHIAN
"Please don't let this be True. I'm shaking."



JUSTIN BIEBER
"It can't be. You always encouraged me mamba. Gave me me some of the best quotes that we smile about to this day.! Love you man!"



TAYLOR SWIFT
"My heart is in pieces hearing the news of this unimaginable tragedy. I can't fathom what the families are going through. Kobe meant so much to me and to us all. Sending my prayers, love, and endless condolences to Vanessa and the family and anyone who lost someone on that flight."



JOE BIDEN
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was attending a campaign event when he heard the news.

"It makes you realize you gotta make every day count," Biden told reporters.



NATIONAL BASKETBALL PLAYERS ASSOCIATION


LOS ANGELES MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI
"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."

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM
"We mourn the tragic and untimely death of a California icon and basketball legend, Kobe Bryant. In his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, he made history with raw talent and unparalleled dedication that raised the bar and paved the way for a newer generation of players.

Despite winning five NBA championships and two gold Olympic medals, and achieving countless accolades in the athletics world, he also helped improve the lives of youth and families through the Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Bryant Foundation, and was an outspoken advocate for combating homelessness through partnerships with organizations such as My Friend's Place and Step Up on Second.

Our deepest condolences go to his wife, family, colleagues, friends and fans. He was taken too soon and he will be missed."

LOWER MERION HIGH SCHOOL
"The Lower Merion School District community is deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing of one our most illustrious alumni, Kobe Bryant.

Mr. Bryant's connection to Lower Merion High School, where he played basketball prior to joining the NBA, has raised the profile of the high school and our District throughout the world. Our school community will always be grateful for his ongoing generosity to his alma mater, including his dedication of our Kobe Bryant Gymnasium and his support of our boys' and girls' basketball teams.

Gregg Downer coached Mr. Bryant from 1992 to 1996. Mr. Bryant led the team to the 1996 State Championship. Downer said that he is completely shocked and devastated by this news adding, "Aces Nation has lost its heartbeat."

The entire Lower Merion School District community sends its deepest condolences to Mr. Bryant's family. Our basketball teams will no doubt pay tribute to Mr. Bryant as this season continues, but at this time, as a District, we will concentrate on supporting those in our community - including Coach Downer and English teacher Jeanne Mastriano- whom Mr. Bryant credited for sparking his love of writing."

Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.