'Sad,' 'devastated,' 'heartbreaking': Kobe Bryant's shocking death mourned by basketball world and beyond

FP Sports

Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest players in NBA history, died in a helicopter crash on Sunday. The basketball legend spent his entire 20-season career with Los Angeles Lakers, leading the franchise to five NBA championships but above all gave countless unforgettable memories to fans and the fraternity.

Only four NBA players who weren't on the Boston Celtics' 1960s dynasty teams have won more titles than Bryant. He scored 33,643 career points, third-most in league history, and averaged 25.0 points per game, including a 60-point performance in his final game on April 13, 2016. His 81-point game in on Jan. 22, 2006, against the Toronto Raptors was the second-highest scoring performance in the NBA and arguably the most dazzling single-game offensive performance in hoops history.

He was an 18-time All-Star, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and the 2008 NBA MVP.

As the shocking news broke out, sports personalities, celebrities, politicians took to social media or released statements to pay tribute to Bryant.

PSG and Brazilian footballer Neymar paid tribute to Bryant after scoring against Lille in the French league. He held up 'two' and 'four' with his fingers and walked away.

"Words can't describe the pain I am feeling. I loved Kobe €" he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much. He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force. Kobe was also an amazing dad who loved his family deeply €" and took great pride in his daughter's love for the game of basketball." €" Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan in a statement

"It's an unbelievable reality that he's no longer here." €" golfer Tiger Woods "Kobe was not only an icon in the sports arena, he was a man of the world and touched so many lives and communities in the most positive ways. His star was continuing to rise every day and he knew no limits because of his many intellectual and creative talents and desire to give back to others €" his passion for the game, for his family and for others was apparent in everything he accomplished." €" Basketball Hall of Famer Larry Bird in a statement

"It's just a huge loss to the game. He was a great example on a lot of different stages." €" rapper Rick Ross at the Grammy Awards

With AP inputs

Also See: Kobe Bryant dies at 41: A look back at Black Mamba's brilliant and complicated legacy

Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers and NBA legend, dies at 41 in a helicopter crash; fans, teams pay tribute

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