Hollywood pays tribute to sports icon Kobe Bryant

Los Angeles, Jan 27 (PTI) The sudden death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash has left Hollywood and music bigwigs Samuel L Jackson, Leonardo DiCaprio, John Legend and others devastated.

Bryant died in a crash on Sunday in suburban Los Angeles that also claimed the life of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.

Jackson said he is broken by the tragedy.

'Loved watching Kobe play. Loved watching him with his family. Loved every interaction with him. So broken by this tragedy. What a loss... trying to understand & accept,' he tweeted.

Affleck said Bryant's death is a reminder to 'celebrate life while we can'.

'My thoughts and prayers are with Kobe Bryant’s family, and the families of all those involved. Today reminds us just how short and precious life is, and a reason to be grateful and celebrate life while we can. Rest In Peace Mamba,' he wrote on the microblogging site.

DiCaprio posted, 'Kobe was truly larger than life, a legend. May he and all those who lost their lives today rest in peace. Love and condolences to his family. LA will never be the same.' Actor Halle Berry said, 'Love and strength to Kobe's entire family and to the families of all who were lost in today's crash.' Action star Dwayne Johnson shared a picture of Bryant and Gianna and captioned it 'Love is forever.' Calling the Olympic gold medalist an 'extraordinary athlete', actor-producer Reese Witherspoon said, 'Just devastated to hear about #KobeBryant. An extraordinary athlete, and a genuinely kind, wonderful man. Sending love, prayers & compassion to his family. To his entire @NBA family as well.' Goldberg tweeted, 'RIP Kobe, hero to many including my grandson, extraordinary athlete and always kind to me & my family. My deepest condolences to his family.' Actor Jessica Alba wrote, 'Oh my god... I cant believe it...this is so devastating.' Indian-origin American actor Mindy Kaling said the five-time NBA champion made the world proud.

'#KobeBryant you were the greatest. You made our city and the rest of the world so proud. Every basketball fan knew the magnificence of the Mamba. Love and healing to Vanessa and those little girls. God, this is just the worst ever,' she wrote on Twitter.

Filmmaker M Night Shaymalan tweeted, 'Shocked and saddened to hear about Kobe Bryant. To us in Philly he was one of ours. His loss will be felt throughout the city.' Bryant was also honoured at the 2020 Grammy awards, which took place at his stomping ground, Los Angeles' Staples Center, hours after his death.

While host Alicia Keys, hip hop group Boyz II Men, singer Lizzo among others commemorated Bryant's life on stage, many from the music industry took to social media to pay tributes to the sports giant. 'My heart is in pieces hearing the news of this unimaginable tragedy. I can't fathom what the families are going through. Kobe meant so much to me and to us all. Sending my prayers, love, and endless condolences to Vanessa and the family and anyone who lost someone on that flight,' singer Taylor Swift tweeted.

Singer John Legend, who paid tribute to rapper-activist Nipsey Hussle at the Grammys, condoled Bryant's death on Twitter minutes before his Grammy performance.

'I'm so sad and stunned right now. In Staples Arena, where Kobe created so many memories for all of us, preparing to pay tribute to another brilliant man we lost too soon, Nipsey Hussle. Life can be so brutal and senseless sometimes. Hold on to your loved ones. We miss you, Kobe,' he wrote.

Actor-singer Jennifer Lopez sent her love to Bryant's family.

'We are all feeling sadness from this loss, but all I can think of is that it is a grain of sand compared to what Vanessa must going through right now. I am sending all of my love and praying for you, your children and the other families involved in today's tragic turn of events,' she wrote on Instagram.

Pop star Justin Bieber recalled the motivational chats he had with Bryant.

'It can't be. You always encouraged me mamba. Gave me me some of the best quotes that we smile about to this day.! Love you man!' he said.

Grammy-winning musician Bruno Mars said, 'Kobe was a real life super hero on that court & I'm sure he was one to his family. Sending love and prayers to them. This is heartbreaking.' Nick Jonas, who also performed at the music awards with his brothers Joe and Kevin, wrote, 'This is heartbreaking. Rest In Peace Kobe.' PTI SHD BK BK