We’re living very sad moments after Kobe Bryant’s tragic death was confirmed on Sunday. The Los Angeles Lakers legend lost his life in a helicopter accident, where he was with his daughter Gianna and seven other people.
Players around the league have since offered their condolences while describing how impactful Kobe was on them and the game of basketball. Stephen Curry, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kawhi Leonard are among those stars that paid tribute to Kobe after the news saw the light.
The Golden State Warriors star took to Instagram to describe his feelings and honor Kobe, thanking the Black Mamba for everything he did in the league.
“A lot of questions right now. Our faith is being tested...but all I can say is thank you. May you and Gianna rest easy!”
The Dallas Mavericks legend, Dirk Nowitzki also spoke out about the tragedy, briefly remembering how excited he was in coming home to see Bryant dominate in the fourth quarter. Dirk’s respect for Kobe is well known, as he even described the former Laker as the hardest player he had to guard in his career.
Moreover, Kawhi Leonard, currently a Los Angeles Clipper and one of Kobe’s pupils, dedicated his Sunday’s night game to the Black Mamba,
In a post-game interview, the Clippers forward spoke of the connection he had with Kobe:
“Words can’t explain his impact he had on this floor … We’re a team from L.A. so we know L.A.’s history with him, and it’s just sad,” Kawhi Leonard said.
Leonard also spoke about the shooting guard’s love for the game, which he even displayed with an animated short film.
“Knowing him personally, I know he’d want me to come out here and try to ball and still just be great,” Leonard added.
The last couple of hours haven’t been easy for anybody, as the sports world, in general, lost one of its biggest icons.
Kobe will always be remembered for his game, his tenacity, encased in that “Mamba Mentality” that took him to be famous even beyond basketball. This man influenced an entire generation of players that now try to be the best version of themselves.