North Texas, along with the rest of the world, was rocked to its core Sunday following reports of the death of NBA icon Kobe Bryant. The 41-year-old retired Los Angeles Laker, along with his daughter, 13-year-old Gianna Marie-Onroe Bryant, and seven other passengers were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
As Los Angeles hosted a musical memorial for the retired legend inside the Staples Center during the 62nd annual Grammy Awards, Dallas’ music scene joined in honoring arguably the greatest basketball player of all time. Many DFW recording artists, also at the awards ceremony, took to social media to pay their respects. Emotional tributes poured in online from Dallas’ biggest names: The Jonas Brothers, Kirk Franklin, Yella Beezy and more.
“This makes me so sad. Kobe you were always so sweet to me. Known you over 10 years … not super well but we always joked about you coming over and playing that game of horse! You will be so missed by so many. You’re a legend with wings now. RIP Kobe *update* I just heard his daughter Gigi was also in the accident and it breaks my heart. This whole family was so sweet and now they’re in my prayers heavy. RIP Gigi beautiful girl.”
“Absolutely heartbreaking. Praying for strength for the entire Bryant family and sending all of you love. Rest in Peace Kobe and Gianna.”
“This is heartbreaking. Rest in Peace Kobe. Praying for the entire Bryant family and loved ones during this tragic time.”
“Fans are outside Staples Center mourning one of the greatest to do it for L.A. you can feel the wind knocked out of the entire city… We weep for Kobe Bryant.”
“Sorry to hear about my friend Kobe Bryant. Keep dancing till eternity brother. … He was a legend.”
“Noooo not his baby gurl 2. This too tuff.... Damn! Rest in Peace my condolence to their family. #ripkobe.”
“We honor your life and legacy. Greatness personified. Thank you RIP Kobe Bryant.”
“Life really short af, that’s why we gotta cherish every moment big or little we here.”
“This is not the time to bring up where you feel Kobe ranks up against Michael Jordan and Lebron James. Celebrate the life of Kobe Bryant and send a prayer up for his family. He was a hero for so many of us. Rest in Power. 8/24.”
Cuban, Mavericks retire No. 24: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban announced that the organization decided that No. 24 will never again be worn by a Mavericks player, a tribute to the future Hall of Famer. Bryant played his final All-Star Game in Dallas in 2016. With the announcement of the No. 24 jersey's permanent legacy, the Mavs issued a news release:
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We are shocked and saddened by the devastating news of the passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. Kobe was an ambassador for our game, a decorated legend, and a global icon. Above all, he was a loving and dedicated father.
Kobe’s legacy transcends basketball, and our organization has decided that the number 24 will never again be worn by a Dallas Maverick. Our hearts go out to all the lives lost and the families impacted by this terrible tragedy. We send our thoughts and prayers to Vanessa and the family, the Lakers organization and Kobe Bryant fans everywhere.
On and off the court, Bryant inspired the world with his limitless work ethic, competitive nature and fearless leadership. In hip-hop, the athlete’s name is a common lyrical reference describing a winner’s mentality or punchline describing the legend’s superior ball-handling skills.
Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa Bryant, 37. Along with Gianna, the pair had three daughters: Natalia, Bianka and newborn Capri.