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.”
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
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 !”
There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW pic.twitter.com/pigHywq3c1— SHAQ (@SHAQ) January 26, 2020
Kobe and I shared so many special conversations about life and basketball. We had so much in common off the court. I used to love talking to him about Lakers basketball, being fathers and husbands and how much we loved Italy. I will miss those conversations and him so much. pic.twitter.com/PIv7obzr2x— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 26, 2020
Beyond devastated... my big brother... I can’t, I just can’t believe it— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) January 26, 2020
I’m stunned. Words can’t even come close to describing it. Just an incredibly sad and tragic day.— Scottie Pippen (@ScottiePippen) January 26, 2020
Kobe Bryant was not only one of the greatest basketball players ever, he was also the hardest working player I’ve ever been around. I was so fortunate to have known him and coached him with Team USA. Our thoughts and our prayers are with his wife, Vanessa, and the Bryant family.— Jim Boeheim (@therealboeheim) January 26, 2020
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.