Barack Obama Grieves Kobe Bryant, Daughter Gianna's Sudden Deaths: 'Unthinkable'

President Barack Obama, right, and Kobe Bryant, left, during a ceremony honoring the 2009 NBA champions, the Los Angeles Lakers, at the White House on Jan. 25, 2010. (Photo: Jim Young / Reuters)

Former President Barack Obama paid his condolences to Kobe Bryant’s family amid news of Bryant’s shocking death on Sunday. 

The former Los Angeles Laker died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, alongside eight others on board. Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was also among those dead.

“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,” Obama wrote. “Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.” 

Countless tributes poured in from friends, fans and former teammates of Bryant’s as his death sent shockwaves around the world. 

Shaquille O’Neal, who won three championships with Bryant, said that there were “no words” to describe the pain he was feeling. 

“There’s no words to express the pain I’m going through now with this tragic and sad moment of loosing my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie,” O’Neal wrote in a tribute, alongside photos of him with Bryant. 

“I love you brother and you will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW !” 


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