The National Basketball Players Association tweeted: “We are stunned and devastated by the news of the sudden passing of Kobe Bryant. Words cannot express his impact on our players, the NBA and the game of basketball. This is a monumental loss for the entire basketball community and our hearts are quite simply broken. We send love and prayers out to his wife Vanessa and the entire family.”
His impact on the game could be seen as sporting stars from around the world made tributes to Bryant on social media, including Andy Murray, Maradona, Simone Biles and Usain Bolt, while politicians and celebrities including Donald Trump, Barack Obama and Justin Bieber also paid their respects.
People were quick to leave flowers and other tributes to Bryant outside the Lakers’ arena the Staples Center on Sunday as well as Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks.