The world is mourning the loss of the NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant who perished in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning in Calabasas, Calif.
The 41-year old together with his 13-year-old daughter and 9 others were in a helicopter to a basketball tournament where Gianna was going to take part with her team.
According to TMZ, Kobe Bryant and his daughter were allegedly headed to the Mamba Academy for a basketball practice, which is near the Thousand Oaks and Calabasas area in Los Angeles.
“The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. … We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Vanessa, and their family, the Lakers organization and the entire sports world,” said NBA commissioner Adam Silver in a statement released by the league.
Kobe Bryant’s last tweet has been interpreted to mean goodbye. “It is like he was handing over the mantle. He seemed to be telling the world goodbye,” said one basketball fun.
Here is the tweet:
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020
Tributes from around the world have continued pouring in for the fallen legend. Among those who have eulogized Kobe Bryant is President Barack Obama who said:
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
Kobe Bryant retired in 2016 as a five-time NBA champion, 11-time All-NBA first-team selection, 2008 MVP, two-time Finals MVP, 18-time All-Star and four-time All-Star MVP who spent his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He also won gold medals with USA Basketball at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics according to USA Today.