Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas Sunday morning

By Claudia Harmata
January 26, 2020 03:50 PM
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As news of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna’s deaths were made known on Sunday, many of the NBA legend’s peers and fans reacted to the tragedy. He was 41 and his daughter was 13.

Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas on Sunday morning, a source confirmed to PEOPLE. He was reportedly traveling in his private helicopter when it went down, according to TMZ, which also reported that emergency personnel responded but all on board did not survive.

His daughter, nicknamed Gigi, was also onboard the private helicopter when it went down on Sunday, reps for the former basketball player told TMZ Sports.

Spokespersons for Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Los Angeles Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

“This can’t be real

there’s no way!!! My heart hurts,” Khloé Kardashian, shared on Twitter.

“Nooooooooooo God please No!,” fellow retired basketball player Dwyane Wade shared after hearing the news.

Bryant’s former Lakers teammate Pau Gasol also responded to the news, writing: “Beyond devastated… my big brother… I can’t, I just can’t believe it.”

Rapper A$AP Rocky tweeted, “RIP KOBE , SO SAD , SUCH A SAD DAY N SAD NEWS , WE LOVE U,” while NFL star JJ Watt shared, “Can’t be true. Just can’t be. Truly truly horrific. Rest In Peace Kobe.”

Cleveland Cavaliers player Tristan Thompson also mourned the loss of Bryant and his daughter.

“I’m at a loss for words. I can’t believe this man. RIP Kobe and his daughter Gianna, it was a honor to be able to compete with you. Incredible player, even better person ??” he wrote.

“I cannot believe this is real. My god. Oh my god,” Chrissy Teigen also wrote.

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel shared an emotional tribute to the former Los Angles Lakers player, remembering Bryant and his legacy.

“He was great, charismatic & among the hardest-working athletes ever, but what impressed me most was how deeply-involved Kobe was with his 4 daughters,” Kimmel wrote on Twitter. “Pray for them, Vanessa, his parents & his fellow passengers’ families on this sad and shocking day. We will never forget you Kobe.”

Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers recalled the impact Bryant had on his own career in the NBA, tweeting that as a child he had been inspired to play basketball by the former NBA star.

“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,” he shared. “I WANTED TO BE LIKE KOBE. I’m so FREAKING SAD right now!!!! RIP LEGEND.”

Demi Lovato shared a tribute on Instagram, posting a photo with Bryant and one of his daughters.

“This makes me so sad. Kobe you were always so sweet to me. Known you over 10 years.. not super well but we always joked about you coming over and playing that game of horse!” the singer wrote. “You will be so missed by so many. You’re a legend with wings now. RIP Kobe ???.”

Justin Bieber also wrote on Instagram, “It can’t be. You always encouraged me mamba. Gave me some of the best quotes that we smile about to this day.! Love you man!”

Meanwhile, model Gigi Hadid shared a photo of herself wearing Bryant’s Lakers jersey when she was just a young girl for a Bryant-themed birthday party.

“Shocked and heartbroken. Way too soon. Rest In Peace & Power, Legend- being a fan of yours brought so much joy to my life. Sending my love, strength, and deepest condolences to the sweet Bryant family. ?,” she wrote.

Bryant is survived by wife Vanessa, 37, and their children: daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and daughter Capri, 7 months.

Daughter Gianna, 13, was reportedly killed in the incident.

Harry How/Getty Images

Since the start of his basketball career, Bryant was one of the most accomplished men in the NBA, having played all 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Until Saturday evening, he was the third-leading scorer in NBA history with 33,643 points but was surpassed LeBron James. James paid tribute to Bryant with special Nike shoes during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

After the game, Bryant congratulated James on his latest milestone.

“On to #2 @kingjames! Keep growing the game and charting the path for the next,” the retired star shared on Instagram.

“Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother ?? #33644,” Bryant tweeted.