Friends and fans are paying tribute to the legendary NBA Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant, 41, after he was killed Sunday morning when his private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California.
Four others also died in the crash, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
Michael Jordan released a statement saying that “Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling. I loved Kobe – he was like a little brother to me.”
He goes on to say that while Kobe was a fierce competitor he was an amazing dad who loved his family deeply and that he took great pride in his daughter’s love of basketball.
Shaquille O’Neal’s son, Shareef, posted that Kobe, who he called “Unc” reached out to him the morning of the crash to check on him. New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady posted, we miss you already Kobe.
Rapper Lil Wayne posted, we lost a King. Mark Cuban wrote, “Damn. RIP Mamba. May your memory be a blessing.”
Bryant was considered one of the greatest NBA players of all-time. Bryant was the 1996 first-round draft pick, making 18 All-Star teams in twenty years with Los Angeles. He won 5 NBA championships, was 2008 League MVP and earned two NBA Finals MVPs.
Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and four daughters.