'Absolutely shocking': Sports fraternity mourn death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant

After the death of American basketball legend Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash on Sunday that also killed his 13 year old daughter Gianna, his counterparts and people from the sports fraternity expressed their condolences.

Here's how they reacted;

"There's no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my niece 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"

-- Bryant's former Lakers teammate Shaquille O'Neal

"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"

-- Bill Russell, five-time NBA Most Valuable Player, 11-time NBA champion with the Boston Celtics

"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."

-- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, six-time NBA champion and league's all-time scoring leader

"Nooooooooooo God please No!"

-- Three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade

"Heart going out to the Bryant family right now. RIP Kobe Bryant."

-- US women's footballer and World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe

"Like everyone, I’m stunned and saddened to hear the horrific news about Kobe Bryant. Thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this terribly sad time #RIPKobeBryant."

-- Australian cricket legend Shane Warne

"We miss you already Kobe."

-- NFL Super Bowl winner Tom Brady

"@kobebryant Gone much too soon, how devastating to hear of his passing, he gave joy to so many for so long - deep condolences to his family, his friends, his Laker family. RIP Kobe… #lifeistooshort."

-- Tennis great Martina Navratilova

"I'm heartbroken by this news, you were a true legend, and friend. Rest In Peace @kobebryant, my thoughts and prayers to his wife and kids."

-- French NBA great Tony Parker

"Rest in peace Kobe. One of the best sportsmen/athletes that has ever lived. My heart goes out to his family and to all involved in this terrible accident"

-- Former Formula One world champion Jenson Button

"On behalf of myself, the players and staff at AS Roma, we join the rest of the sporting world in mourning the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant. Kobe was a true icon and our thoughts are now with his family and the families of all of the victims aboard that flight."

-- Jim Pallotta, the owner of Italian football giants AS Roma

"The moment you realise life ain't something to fuck with! If you feel something tell that person! If you miss someone tell that person.. you never know when your time is up!"

-- Australian rugby union international Quade Cooper

"Speechless and shocked!! REST IN HEAVEN MAMBA."

-- German football international Kevin-Prince Boateng

"My biggest sports idol is this man right here. Your work ethic and mentality inspired me so much from as soon i understood what it took to become a pro. You were enjoying your new chapter in your life and to leave us just like that is devastating.. i love you so much! You the goat"

-- Inter Milan's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku on Instagram, with a photo of Bryant

Citing multiple media reports, Variety reported that the four were en route to Gianna's basketball game in Thousand Oaks city when the incident took place.

In a statement, the FAA has said that S-76 helicopter with five people on board crashed near the Los Angeles suburb of Calabasas under "unknown circumstances".

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