The death of NBA great Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash Sunday hit the sports world hard, even in New York, where athletes quickly took to Twitter to express their shock. Many of them said Bryant was their favorite athlete.
Bryant, 41, was among nine people killed late Sunday morning in Calabasas, California, a Los Angeles suburb, TMZ Sports first reported. Multiple other media outlets have since confirmed the death of the former Lakers superstar.
One of Bryant's four daughters, 13-year-old Gianna, was also killed, TMZ reported.
“Real tears,” Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman tweeted. “Unreal man. S--- makes no sense. How is the world going to take Kobe from us so soon? Can’t even speak man. This is awful. Prayers to everyone!’
“As an organization, we’re devastated, and the players are devastated. We have a player that was very close to Kobe. My thoughts and prayers are with him," said Atkinson, who was believed to be referring to Kyrie Irving, who is missing the game for personal reasons. "And so just a tough time for the NBA, for all of us.”
The exterior of Madison Square Garden was lit up in purple and gold Sunday night.