“I’ve known Kobe since he was 15 years old and I was 16 playing AAU basketball. You go through 18 years of competing, talking junk, about to fight each other, congratulating each other, hating each other, enjoying each other in 18 years.”
-Hawks forward Vince Carter
“It is with our heaviest hearts that we play this game tonight. Our NBA family has lost one of it’s brightest lights today. Kobe Bryant was a giant of this game. He was a master of the sport. Watching Kobe play was an explosion of passion, athleticism, sportsmanship, heart, genius and grit. He never gave up. Winning meant everything to him. Competition was his drug. He made everyone on his team better and everyone playing against him frustrated and had to bring their A game every time they stepped out onto the court to guard him.”
-Part of a statement from Hawks owners Jami Gertz and Tony Ressler
“It’s hard. Our locker room’s shaken, the NBA’s shaken, the community is shaken, everyone is. Because at the end of the day, you respect what he’s been able to accomplish for so many years, in so many different ways.”
-Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce
“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. 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 our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Vanessa, and their family, the Lakers organization and the entire sports world.”
-Statement from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver
“We have tragically lost one of the greatest sports figures of our time with the passing of Kobe Bryant. He was an incredibly gifted person who was universally respected. He was in constant pursuit of doing something special and there will never be a greater warrior in our sport. I had the amazing honor of coaching Kobe in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, and I will always remember how much he cherished representing his country in a first-class manner playing the game he so loved.
“The game of basketball is better today because of Kobe, and he deserves eternal appreciation for that. This is a devastating loss, made even more tragic by the passing of his daughter, Gianna, and all others on board. The entire Krzyzewski family is saddened as we genuinely loved and admired Kobe. We extend our deepest sympathies to his wife, Vanessa, their daughters Natalia, Bianka, and Capri, and the families of those involved.”
-Statement from Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski
“USA Basketball has lost a real champion. Women's sports has lost one of their strongest advocates. Professional sports has lost a true legend who used his stature to make a difference in the world. Kobe viewed our women's athletes as role models for his daughter Gigi, for whom we are also grieving. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Vanessa, the rest of his family and the families of those who also were lost today.”
-Statement from USA Basketball
“The crash was a tragedy for multiple families. My heart goes out to (wife) Vanessa and the families that lost loved ones. Kobe was a chosen one-special in many ways to many people. Our relationship as coach/player transcended the norm. He went beyong the veil.
-Statement from former Lakers coach Phil Jackson