Lakers Give Away 20,000 Kobe Bryant Shirts At Staples Center | 22 Words

Fans all over the world have been mourning the tragic death of legendary sports star, Kobe Bryant, following the devastating helicopter crash that claimed the lives of 8 others, including his thirteen-year-old daughter, Gianna.

The world feels as though it has come to a standstill, with many unable to process the star's sudden and untimely death.

Celebrities have reached out to leave touching tributes for the star. Now the Lakers themselves have paid a heartbreaking tribute to Kobe and Gianna.

Keep scrolling to take look...

 

For those of you that aren't aware, Kobe Bryant is a legend.

After he left high school, he entered the NBA directly and went onto win 5 championships.

He was one of the world's best shooting guards.

Kobe Bryant made history on many occasions. His twenty-year career in the NBA saw him become the all-time leading scorer in Lakers history in 2010. At thirty-four years old, he also became the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points. What an achievement.

However, in 2016, he retired.

After a string of injuries began taking their toll on his body, he decided it would be best to leave the game, though that didn't stop him from coaching and doing extra work on the side in order to aid the NBA.

He made sure he went out with a bang.

Who could ever forget that final game? The Lakers versus Utah Jazz. The latter team didn't stand a chance after seeing Kobe score sixty points in the game, which became a career highlight for the basketballer.

On Sunday, Jan 26, the sporting world was left heartbroken by the sudden death of one of its biggest stars, Kobe Bryant.

It has been confirmed that Kobe tragically died in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning. The NBA star's private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, at around 9:45 am local time, TMZ sports confirms.

Kobe was known for opting to use a helicopter for travel...

But tragically, his private helicopter went down and a "fire broke out," TMZ reports.

During a press conference, it was confirmed there were no survivors.

And there were 9 bodies found at the scene. Reports have also confirmed that his wife, Vanessa Bryant, was not among those on board.

However, Bryant's daughter, Gianna, was also on board the helicopter at the time of the crash.

TMZ Sports reports that Gianna, aged thirteen, tragically died in the crash. It is thought that the father and daughter were on their way to the Mamba Academy for basketball practice, nearby Thousand Oaks.

This is utterly devastating news.

Kobe leaves behind his wife and their daughters - Natalia and Bianka, and their newborn, Capri.

Heartbreaking footage has emerged showing the aftermath of the tragedy.

The clip, uploaded to Twitter, shows smoke emerging from the crash site as emergency services respond to the devastating incident.

The tragedy claimed the lives of 7 others...

All 9 of the passengers on board were confirmed to have died in the tragic crash.

The news has been hard for people to stomach.

Kobe really touched the hearts of so many people, so tributes for the star have been pouring in.

Barack Obama reiterated that Kobe was a "legend."

The two had a strong friendship as Kobe was an active Obama supporter and they both shared similar views on social issues.

In a slightly less empathetic way, Donald Trump also tweeted this:

Melania also sent her condolences.

And Whoopi Goldberg also emphasized how much of a hero he was.

She wrote: "RIP Kobe, hero to many including my grandson, extraordinary athlete and always kind to me & my family. My deepest condolences to his family."

Kevin Hart was shocked by the news...

He said he only "just [seen] him." It really just proves how short life is.

But his pain got worse as he found out that Kobe's daughter was involved too...

The news was beyond heartbreaking.

And supermodel Gigi Hadid talked about her close relationship with the legend.

She also posted 2 photos to Instagram upon hearing the news about his daughter too.

Viola Davis was also amongst those who paid tribute to Kobe.

Kobe's family has just been hit with the worst news they could possibly have. No goodbyes. No final words. Devastating.

Amber Rose sent all of her love to Kobe's wife Vanessa Bryant.

As a mother and a wife, this is the most painful news to have received.

And a host of other sports personalities sent their condolences to the family.

Megan Rapinoe, a professional soccer player for the United States team tweeted about him.

And Usain Bolt too.

He attached a photograph of him and Kobe right before one of his races.

One of the most painful outcomes of this tragic accident is reflected in Kobe Bryant's last Instagram post.

He and Lebron James were two legends in the sport. And they helped build each other, celebrate their successes and support one another through difficult times.

And just twenty-four hours before the incident, Kobe had congratulated Lebron.

Lebron James recently passed Kobe Bryant's career point marker and as a way to congratulate him, he dedicated a heartwarming post to the star player.

So no wonder the news hit him extremely hard.

A video of the basketballer breaking down in tears surfaced and broke everyone's hearts. It is a devastating sight to see.

He penned a heartbreaking tribute to Kobe.

He took to Instagram to pay tribute to the basketball legend, whom he describes as his "brother." "I’m Not Ready but here I go. Man I sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had," he began the post. 

"I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning."

"Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have. WTF!! I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!! "Man I love you big bro," he continued.

He truly poured his heart out.

"My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids. I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man! You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation and it’s my responsibility to put this shit on my back and keep it going! "Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here!"

He then finished his touching tribute with a final message...

"There’s so much more I want to say but just can’t right now because I can’t get through it! Until we meet again my brother!!" There's no denying how devastated Lebron is by this tragic news.

Lebron also revealed a tribute tattoo to honor the late star.

Lebron has a new piece of body art dedicated to Kobe, and it's truly touching. Keep scrolling to take a look.

The new inking was done by Vanessa Aurelia on Wednesday.

The star documented the process over on his Instagram story.

We got a sneak peek of the new tat yesterday...

Lebron was working out in the Lakers facility ahead of today's game when we got a glimpse of the tattoo.

The new inking is still wrapped up...

But it looks like a black mamba snake along with the words "mamba" or "kobe for life" at the bottom, though it's hard to tell.

LeBron gave an emotional speech.

In the first game since Kobe's death, LeBron paid an emotional and powerful tribute to his hero and idol.

He wanted it to be a celebration.

He added:
This is a celebration of the 20 years of the blood, the sweat, the tears, the broken-down body, the getting up, the sitting down, the everything, the countless hours, the determination to be as great as he could be.

He added:

Tonight we celebrate the kid who came here at 18 years of age, retired at 38 and became probably the best dad we’ve seen over the last three years.

'Blood, sweat, and tears'.

That's what Kobe put into everything in life. Basketball, marriage, fatherhood. And that's why the world is mourning.

The Lakers also paid a tribute.

In the same game, the first one since Kobe's death, the Lakers also paid a tribute to Kobe and all those who died in the horrific accident.

They gave away 20,000 shirts.

Everyone in attendance at the Lakers game was gifted a Kobe Bryant shirt in memory of the legend himself.

Courtesy of the Lakers themselves.

But that wasn't all.
Lakers players all wore shirts with Bryant's numbers - eight and 24 - during their warm-up.

The players were introduced as Kobe Bryant.

Each of the Lakers players was then also introduced as 'Number eight, Kobe Bryant'. A poignant farewell for one of the all time greats.

What a devastating loss for the world.

Rest in peace to Kobe and Gianna Bryant as well as the rest of the victims involved in the crash.

The cause of the crash is currently under investigation.

We'll be sure to bring you more details as the story develops. Many have been leaving tributes for both Kobe and his daughter. Keep scrolling to see how others are celebrating the lives of the stars.