Celebrities, officials react to death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant and daughter

Digital First

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Many hearts across the country are broken Sunday night, as they mourn the tragic loss of retired NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter. 

Bryant, 41, and his daughter, Gianna, were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Southern California Sunday morning. An outpouring of grief and sadness spread all over social media after the news of his death broke. 

The NBA legend, his daughter and the seven other people aboard the chopper were on their way to a basketball game when it crashed. 

Bryant is among the eligible candidates for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020 in Springfield in September.

Players at a Kobe Bryant Tournament were informed of the news along with the rest of us. The tournament was organized by Bryant last fall, for youth basketball teams in Grades 2-8. All remaining games at the Kobe Bryant Tournament were canceled on Sunday after news of death broke.

Athletes from all different sports touched on the impact Kobe had, not just on the basketball court, but in life. Joel Embiid from the Philadelphia 76ers tweeted on Sunday: “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 final was the turning point of my life….”

Below are social media reactions from celebrities and NBA officials.

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