Kohli 'devastated' by Kobe Bryant's untimely death, says life is 'unpredictable'; a 'saddened' Tendulkar tweets condolences
Shane Warne, Viv Richards also tweeted condolences.
Back home in India, too, the sporting fraternity mourned the death of the 41-year-old NBA legend. Team India skipper Virat Kohli took to Instagram to condole Bryant's demise, saying he was "absolutely devastated to hear the news". Paying tribute to the NBA star, Kohli said that in his childhood he used to get up early to watch Bryant play.
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"Absolutely devastated to hear this news today. So many childhood memories of waking up early and watching this magician doing things on the court that I would be mesmerized by. Life is so unpredictable and fickle. His daughter Gianna passed away too in the crash. I am absolutely heartbroken. Rest in peace. Strength and condolences to the family," Kohli wrote.
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Absolutely devastated to hear this news today. So many childhood memories of waking up early and watching this magician doing things on the court that I would be mesmerized by. Life is so unpredictable and fickle. His daughter Gianna passed away too in the crash. Iam absolutely Heartbroken. Rest in peace. Strength and condolences to the family 🙏
Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, stunned and saddened by the loss of Bryant, also tweeted his condolences to the basketball legend's family, friends and fans across the world.
Saddened to hear about the tragic demise of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna & others on-board the helicopter. My c… https://t.co/FSFiogFtes— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) 1580104930000
Other Team India players like Rohit Sharma, Shreyas Iyer and Jaspirt Bumrah also paid tribute to Bryant on social media.
Rest in peace Kobe and his daughter and also the victims of the helicopter crash. Devastated https://t.co/6vno0IZ3uK— Shreyas Iyer (@ShreyasIyer15) 1580090712000
Gone too soon. Rest in peace legend. #KobeBryant https://t.co/zU1FZrXri8— Jasprit Bumrah (@Jaspritbumrah93) 1580092590000
Mayank Agarwal and Ajinkya Rahane also posted tweets in memory of the player.
Former Australian leg spinner Shane Warne wrote that he was "stunned, shocked and saddened" to hear the news of Bryant and his daughter's death, while Caribbean all-rounder Sir Vivian Richards remembered him as a "true legend of the sporting world."
Like everyone, I’m stunned, shocked and saddened to hear the horrific news about Kobe Bryant and his 13 year old da… https://t.co/Gy0g4Yr30c— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) 1580071964000
A true legend of the sporting world! Rest In Peace dear Kobe and his daughter. May the family have immense strengt… https://t.co/3tXbCarGai— Sir Vivian Richards (@ivivianrichards) 1580074968000
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi posted a picture of Bryant in his Los Angeles Lakers jersey on Instagram and recalled the time he had met the "genius."
Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo also posted a picture of Bryant and said: "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."
Tennis star Novak Djokovic posted a picture of himself with the legend on Twitter. He called Bryant a "great mentor and friend," and expressed his sympathies to the family.
My heart truly mourns over the news today. Kobe was a great mentor and friend to me. You and your daughter will liv… https://t.co/jDfDbAy2R1— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) 1580095114000
World No. 1 Rafael Nadal tweeted: "I woke up this morning with the horrible news of the tragic death of one of the greatest sportsmen in the world. Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and other passengers. My condolences to his wife and families. I am in shock."
I woke up this morning with the horrible news of the tragic death of one of the greatest sportsman in the world. Ko… https://t.co/sCUywrUzS0— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) 1580083290000
Bryant and his daughter were expected at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for a basketball game scheduled for Sunday afternoon (local time), CNN reported.
Apart from Bryant and his daughter, seven other people were killed when a helicopter they were travelling in crashed amid foggy conditions and burst into flames in the hills above Calabasas, according to reports by local media.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters that as per a manifest, nine people -- including the pilot -- were on board the helicopter that crashed on a hillside. No one survived the crash, Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Daryl Osby said. Officials did not reveal the identity of the victims.
LA County Fire Department Capt. Tony Imbrenda said that they did not immediately have any information as to whether the helicopter radioed a distress signal.
"Individuals that saw the aircraft said it was coming down at a fairly significant rate of speed and impacted the ground on the hillside," he told reporters.
Bryant had won five National Basketball Association (NBA) championships in his 20-year-long career while playing for Los Angeles Lakers.