Who cannot love Kobe Bryant?” Novak Djokovic had recently said when he was talking about a brief mentoring the American basketball star played when the Serb was struggling with injuries.
Fans, which include legendary sports persons, political figures, have taken to social media and expressed disbelief and mourned the death of Kobe Bryant. The basketball legend died Sunday in a helicopter crash in Southern California. He was 41.
American media also said Kobe Byant’s daughter, Gianna, 13, also died in the crash. There were reports that Kobe and his daughter were on their way to a basketball tournament in Thousand Oaks.
Chief Daryl Osby of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said nobody survived the crash into a hill in Calabasas, which is approximately 30 miles west of Los Angeles. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said nine people were on the helicopter — a pilot and eight passengers.
The news of the death of one of the greatest icons of the sport has sent shockwaves.
Taking to Instagram, India captain Virat Kohli said he was absolutely devastated and heartbroken while recalling memories of waking up early to catch a glimpse of Kobe Bryant on television.
“Absolutely devastated to hear this news today. So many childhood memories of waking up early and watching this magician doing things on the court that I would be mesmerized by. Life is so unpredictable and fickle. His daughter Gianna passed away too in the crash. Iam absolutely Heartbroken. Rest in peace. Strength and condolences to the family,” Virat Kohli wrote.
Limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma said: “Sad day in sporting world today, one of the greats of the game gone too soon. Rest in peace Kobe Bryant and his little daughter Gianna.”
Football great and Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo also came with an emotional post, mourning the death of Kobe Bryant.
“So sad to hear the heartbreaking news of the deaths of Kobe and his daughter Gianna. Kobe was a true legend and inspiration to so many. Sending my condolences to his family and friends and the families of all who lost their lives in the crash. RIP Legend.”