The tragic news of Kobe Bryant’s passing has the sports world reeling on social media.
The legendary Laker reportedly died in a helicopter crash Sunday morning (January 26) along with his 13-year-old daughter Gigi and seven other people.
Shaquelle O’Neal, who famously played with Kobe in Los Angeles during their three consecutive NBA title run, tweeted his disbelief and detailed how hurt he is in learning the news.
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 was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man. That was what we had most in common. I would hug his children like they were my own and he would embrace my kids like they were his. His baby girl Gigi was born on the same day as my youngest daughter Me’Arah. pic.twitter.com/BHBPN5Wq8V— SHAQ (@SHAQ) January 26, 2020
Shaq would famously have a fallout with Kobe when they were teammates, but would later reconcile and forge an inspirational friendship.
Other famous Lakers, including Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, have also reacted on social media. See what they had to say below.
Most people will remember Kobe as the magnificent athlete who inspired a whole generation of basketball players. But I will always remember him as a man who was much more than an athlete. pic.twitter.com/9EZuwk8wrV— Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (@kaj33) January 26, 2020
As I try to write this post, my mind is racing. I’m in disbelief and have been crying all morning over this devastating news that Kobe and his young daughter, Gigi have passed away in a helicopter crash. Cookie and I are heartbroken. pic.twitter.com/X2vF0M0a1u— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 26, 2020
My friend, a legend, husband, father, son, brother, Oscar winner and greatest Laker of all-time is gone. It’s hard to accept. Kobe was a leader of our game, a mentor to both male and female players. pic.twitter.com/NXsrXmCkkG— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 26, 2020
He gave his knowledge, time, and talent to tutor so many at the youth level, collegiate level, & NBA & WNBA players. Words can’t express the impact that he had on the game of basketball. I know basketball fans all over the world will miss him, especially the City of Los Angeles. pic.twitter.com/ZoB3Uwbvzk— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 26, 2020
He was such an icon but also did so much for LA. He was passionate about serving the homeless and was an advocate for women's basketball. Coaching his daughter’s basketball team brought him so much happiness.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) 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
Laker Nation, the game of basketball & our city, will never be the same without Kobe. Cookie & I are praying for Vanessa, his beautiful daughters Natalia, Bianka & Capri, as well as his parents Joe & Pam & his sisters. We will always be here for the Bryant family. pic.twitter.com/WWxmtEAJqZ— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 26, 2020
Sadly absorbing the tragic news about my teammates loss of his Son and granddaughter. Joe and Pam I humbly offer my condolences. Vanessa so sorry for your loss and pray you remain strong and focused on you and Kobe’s dreams for your family. Here Always for you...— Julius Dr J Erving (@JuliusErving) January 26, 2020
I am at a loss for words..Kobe and Gianna you will never be forgotten. What a blessing to see your impact you have had in this world, Kobe. Prayers for the Bryant family. Rest In Peace, little brother and Gigi.. pic.twitter.com/x6EkJaARDD— Karl Malone (@TheDeliverer_32) January 26, 2020
My heart is broken for Kobe and his family. I’ll never forget the battles but what I really admired was the father he was to his girls. Rest In Peace old friend with your angel Gianna 💔— Steve Nash (@SteveNash) January 26, 2020
Jeannine & I are absolutely shocked to hear of the loss of one of my favorite people & one of the best basketball minds in the history of the game! Our hearts & prayers to Vanessa & his girls. @kobebryant you were my biggest fan, but I was yours #RIPMAMBA @NBA @espn @SLAMonline pic.twitter.com/Ll0BD6VWgr— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) January 26, 2020
Photo: LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP via Getty Images