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World sport stars and celebrities pay tribute to basketball legend

World sport stars and celebrities pay tribute to basketball legend

Tributes are pouring in for basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who has been killed in a helicopter crash at the age of 41.

Nine people, including Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were killed when the private helicopter came down in Calabasas, California, on Sunday morning.

Fellow LA Lakers star Shaquille O’Neal wrote: “There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant (sic).

“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.”

Former Lakers president Magic Johnson said he was “in disbelief” and had been “crying all morning”.

“It’s hard to accept. Kobe was a leader of our game, a mentor to both male and female players,” he added.

Michael Jordan, widely regarded as the greatest basketball player of all-time, said: “I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe’s and Gianna’s passing. Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling.

“I loved Kobe – he was like a 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.”