Kobe Bryant death: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi pay tribute to NBA legend
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi joined the long list of sportspersons to pay tribute to National Basketball Association (NBA) legend Kobe Bryant after he died on Sunday when a helicopter he was riding in crashed and burst into flames in thick fog, killing all nine people on board including his teenage daughter and plunging the sports world into mourning. Kobe was travelling with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others when the helicopter slammed into a rugged hillside in Calabasas, west of Los Angeles. There were no survivors in the accident.
Messi posted a picture of Bryant in his legendary Los Angeles Lakers jersey along with the caption - “I have no words… all my love for Kobe’s family and friends. It was a pleasure to meet you and share good times together. You were a genius like few others.”
Ronaldo followed suit as he also posted a picture of Bryant on Instagram and he captioned it - “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.”
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Bryant, a five-time NBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist, is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in history, an iconic figure who became one of the faces of his sport during a glittering two-decade career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bryant’s death sent shockwaves throughout the world, with basketball stars stunned by the news.
“Laker Nation, the game of basketball & our city, will never be the same without Kobe,” former Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson wrote on Twitter.
(With agency inputs)