A number of players have been critical of the NBA’s decision to play after hearing of Bryant’s death.
Marc Gasol has said it wasn’t the correct time to play and Paul George made his feelings clear.
— Paul George (@Yg_Trece) January 26, 2020
Again, there are numerous requests from NBA fans to remove the No.24 from all franchises in the league and change the NBA logo, which bears the silhouette of Jerry West.
Some investigators believe that the fog could have caused Bryant’s helicopter accident. Although initial investigations have only just started, some believe the dense fog could be a possible cause of the crash.
Kurt Deetz, an ex-pilot from Island Express Helicopters, gave his account of the conditions on Sunday, indicating that the helicopter was in perfect condition and the accident was probably caused by the weather conditions. “The probability of a twin-engine failure, in that helicopter model, just doesn’t happen,” Deetz said.
The Los Angeles Police Department ordered their helicopters to land due to excess fog, and made that decision on Sunday morning due to poor flying conditions.
The Dallas Mavericks have decided to retire the No.24 jersey in honour of Kobe Bryant.
Rafa Nadal is devastated by the news of Kobe’s death.
I woke up this morning with the horrible news of the tragic death of one of the greatest sportsman in the world. Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and other passengers. My condolences to his wife and families. I am in shock.
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) January 27, 2020
Cristiano Ronaldo has offered his tribute to Kobe Bryant.
So sad to hear the heartbreaking news of the deaths of Kobe and his daughter Gianna. Kobe was a true legend and inspiration to so many. Sending my condolences to his family and friends and the families of all who lost their lives in the crash. RIP Legend💔 pic.twitter.com/qKb3oiDHxH
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) January 26, 2020
Lionel Messi is one of the latest sports star to share his thoughts.
“I have no words,” the Barcelona ace wrote on Instagram. “All my love to the family and friends of Kobe. It was a pleasure to know you and share good moments together. We’re losing a genius.”
Michael Jordan has released a statement on the terrible news. “I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe’s and Gianna’s passing,” he wrote. “Words can’t describe the pain I’m 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. Yvette joins me in sending my deepest condolences to Vanessa, the Lakers organization and basketball fans around the world.”
Magic Johnson has shared a series of posts to describe his feelings at this hard time for Laker Nation.
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
Barack Obama is the latest public figure to share his thoughts.
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
Shaquille O’Neal also shared his emotions at learning of the passing of his former teammate.
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
The match between the San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors went ahead, but the players didn’t play for the first 24 seconds.
Pausing to remember a great one, gone too soon. pic.twitter.com/YOAIkldiX4
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 26, 2020