The NBA world is still coming to terms with the fact that one of the greatest players in league history is no longer with us.
Kobe Bryant tragically passed away at the age of 41 on Sunday following a helicopter accident in Southern California. His daughter, Gianna, also passed away at the young age of 13.
As the sports world pays its respects to one of the greatest of all-time, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a heartfelt statement.
“The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” Silver said. “He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary: five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals. But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability. He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna. We send out heartfelt condolences to his wife, Vanessa, and their family, the Lakers organization and the entire sports world.
That pretty much hits it on the head right there. As we’ve seen throughout Sunday, Bryant’s legacy and untimely death has impacted so many close to him.
It remains surreal for most who grew up watching Bryant excel on the court. For Mr. Silver and Co., this represents one of the most tragic days in the history of the Association.