kobe bryant family death
photo: Splash News

NBA basketball legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash. He was 41. There were nine victims, including Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. It's a tragic loss that has shocked Los Angeles Lakers fans, the sports community, and social media. 

As reactions poured in on social media, those who knew and played ball with Bryant shared stories of his life on and off the court. Here are some of the most heartbreaking reactions to Bryant's death, from those who knew him, looked up to him, and respected his contribution to sports.

Former president Barack Obama weighed in.

Whenever Barack Obama speaks, we listen. On Twitter, he reflected on the pain of losing a child, writing, "To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents," and sent condolences on behalf of himself and Michelle Obama.

Shaquille O'Neal posted an emotional reaction.

Shaquille O'Neal and Bryant were teammates on the LA Lakers. He posted photos of them together, celebrating their National Championship wins, and called Bryant and Gianna his "brother" and "niece." In another tweet, O'Neal wrote that "I would hug his children like they were my own and he would embrace my kids like they were his."

Kim Kardashian was unexpectedly emotional about the tragedy.

Kim Kardashian posted a touching post on Instagram, with unusually raw emotion. "My heart is so heavy," she wrote. "No one should ever experience what the families involved are going through. This has affected us all so much but I cannot begin to imagine what Vanessa is feeling losing her husband and her baby girl. I cry just thinking about it."

Vanessa Bryant is Bryant's wife and Gianna's mother. Together, the couple had three other children: Capri Kobe, Natalia Diamante, and Bianka Bella.

Kanye West also shared a tribute.

Kanye West also shared a remembrance of Bryant on social media. "We’re praying for your family and appreciate the life you’ve lived and all the inspiration you gave," he wrote on Twitter, while including a candid film photo of the two in a recording studio.

As was Jennifer Lopez.

Jennifer Lopez also shared a heartbreaking tribute to Bryant. "As I scrolled through Kobe’s feed, and Alex [Rodriguez] and I talk memories and moments we remember about him ... this is the truth that rings out the loudest ... family is what matters most," she wrote while sharing eight photos, including images of Lopez and Bryant together. All I can think of is that it is a grain of sand compared to what Vanessa must be going through right now. I am sending all of my love and praying for you, your children and the other families involved in today’s tragic turn of events. The most unfair thing in life is to lose a child and husband on the same day."

Milwaukee Bucks Star Giannis Antetokounmpo deleted his social media.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is considered one the best basketball players in the world, was reportedly close with Bryant. Antetokounmpo has not released a public statement on Bryant's passing, and has deleted his Twitter and Instagram accounts.

LA Lakers superstar LeBron James has also not released a public statement.

Retired Miami Heat player Dwayne Wade posted an emotional video.

On Instagram, Dwayne Wade posted a video of his reaction to the tragic news, calling it "one of the saddest days in my lifetime." He cries as he says that the grief is like "a bad dream you can't wake up from."

Another basketball legend, Michael Jordan, also posted a reaction.

In a statement, former Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan wrote that he is in "shock and that words can't express the pain I'm feeling." Jordan also said that he "loved" Bryant and considered him to be a "little brother." 

Colin Kaepernick is also grieving this loss.

Former NFL quarterback and activist Colin Kaepernick wrote a touching tribute to Bryant, reflecting on fatherhood. "I will remember Kobe as a basketball legend, a father & a man," wrote Kaepernick. "Watching him & Gigi share their relationship with us is something I won’t ever forget. My heart aches for his wife, children & family."

Simone Biles also shared a touching photo.

"Rest in peace Kobe," wrote Olympic gymnast Simone Biles on Instagram. She shared a photo of Bryant posing with the USA Women's Olympic gymnastics team, which includes Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, and Laurie Hernandez.