SALT LAKE CITY — Fans, players, coaches and others in the local basketball community are sharing memories and well-wishes of NBA legend Kobe Bryant after he and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash in California Sunday morning, along with seven other people.
Utah Valley University men's basketball coach Mark Madsen, who played alongside Bryant on the Los Angeles Lakers, tweeted his sentiments:
The Utah Jazz issued the following statement on Bryant's passing:
“We are shocked and saddened to learn about today’s tragedy involving Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. From the time he entered the league, Kobe was a generational talent and one of the most competitive players in the game. Many athletes in the NBA today grew up emulating Kobe. The impact he has made on our sport will not be forgotten. We respect his dedication to the game and unmatched work ethic. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kobe’s wife, Vanessa, their family and those close to them.”
Jazz players, including Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Mike Conley and others, also posted in honor of Bryant:
In 2016, when Bryant retired, the Utah Jazz made a video tribute to him, detailing the love-hate relationship that Jazz fans had with him as a talented rival player and fierce competitor. Bryant also said the Jazz's home court was one of the most intense, which he loved.