The world was left devastated by the heartbreaking news that legendary NBA player, Kobe Bryant, died in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning - he was just forty-one-years-old.

Bryant's daughter, Gianna, was also on board the helicopter with her father and died in the crash along with 7 other victims.

Families have been left distraught, feeling immense pain for the rest of the family. And life-long friend, Shaquille O'Neal has written a heartbreaking tribute to his "brother and niece." But the news is having an impact on his health now.

Shaquille O'Neal has spoken out now in an interview, and it is truly heartbreaking to watch...

Kobe Bryant was a legend in the world of basketball.

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The former pro basketball player won 5 NBA titles throughout his 2-decade career with the Los Angeles Lakers, cementing him as one of the greatest players of all time.

The sporting sensation joined the NBA straight out of high school...

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He was then elected by the Charlotte Hornets with the thirteenth overall pick of the 1996 NBA draft. Ultimately, he was then traded to the Lakers, in a move that truly kick-started his iconic career.

At age thirty-four, Kobe became the youngest player in NBA history to surpass the 30,000 point mark.

On April 13, 2016, Kobe played his final game where he wowed the sold-out crowd, scoring a huge sixty points - the sixth sixty-point game of his career.

Kobe is also made a name for himself off the court...

The basketball star won an Oscar for his short film, Dear Basketball, in 2018.

But there's no denying he was a family man at heart...

The star shared 4 children with his wife, Vanessa Laine Bryant, who wed in April 2001.

But yesterday, the world woke to tragic news...

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It had been confirmed that Kobe Bryant had tragically died in a helicopter crash yesterday morning. The NBA star's private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, TMZ sports confirmed.

Shortly after the news broke, The city of Calabasas released a statement:

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"With great sadness that we learn of the death of Kobe Bryant and four others in a helicopter crash." "The aircraft went down in a remote field off Las Virgenes around 10 am this morning. Nobody on the ground was hurt. However, we have now learned that 9 individuals were killed.

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

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

The cause of the crash is currently unknown...

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But Kurt Deetz, who has flown helicopters carrying Bryant in the past, told the Los Angeles Times that weather was a more likely cause of the accident than a mechanical issue.

This seems to be a likely explanation...

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"The likelihood of a catastrophic twin-engine failure on that aircraft - it just doesn't happen," he said.

This is utterly devastating news...

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

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

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TMZ Sports reports that Gianna, aged thirteen, tragically died in the crash.

She was so young...

It is thought that the father and daughter were on their way to the Mamba Academy for basketball practice, nearby Thousand Oaks.

Like her dad, Gianna was a promising basketball star...

And she was set to follow in her Kobe's footsteps - on track to play in the female NBA.

Her death, alongside the 8 others, is a true loss.

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Tributes have been flooding in from all around the world, and the NBA community has been truly impacted by this devastating accident.

The NBA made a tribute to Kobe...

The New Orleans Pelicans and the Boston Celtics started their game last night by each taking twenty-four-second shot-clock violations in honor of Kobe Bryant.

And now, Shaquille O'Neal has spoken out.

As any NBA fan will know, the former LA Lakers players had a controversial relationship after Kobe discussed Shaquille's work ethic during an interview at the PHP Agency Convention in Las Vegas, per Fox Sports.

But after years of feuding...

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The pair reconciled their friendship and they decided to put the past behind them.

Kobe even confirmed this himself...

Tweeting about it back in August of 2019, Kobe said, "There is no beef with @SHAQ ... I know most media want to see it but it ain’t gonna happen. Ain’t nothin but love there and we too old to beef anyway #3peat."

The pair remained close over the years...

So understandably, Kobe's death has hit Shaquille hard.

Shaquille poured his heart out in an emotional post...

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"There's no words to express the pain I'm going through with this tragedy of losing my niece Gigi & my brother @kobebryant, I love u and u will be missed," he wrote on Twitter.

The pair were like brothers to one another...

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"My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW," he finished the tweet with.

He elaborated on the current status of his health in his podcast.

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He said: "I'm not doing well, I'm sick." He also admitted he has not been eating or sleeping properly.

Things get worse as he opened up about his sister's death.

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The basketballer recently lost his sister also and before even coming to terms with that tragedy, the death of his long-term friend, Kobe Bryant, hit him too.

During the podcast he said this:

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"It just hurts... I’m just getting over the death of my sister. You guys told me the other day when I came in, I looked like I needed some rest. And I haven’t been sleeping after Ayesha’s [his sister's] death."

He explained how he wished he and Kobe had more time together...

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"All the stuff that is documented between us .. this is what brothers do."

Despite the feud, he completely respected the late basketball legend.

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"I love Kobe Bryant. I'm the first to say, I've got 4 rings ... I couldn't have gotten 3 without him." He emphasized how much respect he had for Kobe.

He also revealed that he reached out to Vanessa after hearing about the accident:

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"[She] lost her beautiful GiGi who was born on the same day as my thirteen-year-old daughter and that's what really hurts."

He ended it like this:

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"We're still are the best duo ever created, that's never gonna change, but I wish we were 60 or 70 in the old folks home talking about it."

This is a terribly hard time for all the friends and families involved...

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Our thoughts and condolences go out to all of the victims of the accident and their families and friends who are undoubtedly suffering at the moment.

Shaq shared he had been working out with family when he heard the news.

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He spoke at the Staples Center on Tuesday night and could barely hold back tears talking about legend, Kobe Bryant.

His nephew broke the news to him.

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'I snapped at him and said "man get that out my face",' he said with tears streaming down his face.

He admitted he struggled to believe the news.

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Until he started receiving phone calls. He spoke about how 'sharp' the pain was when he realized what had happened.

The death of Bryant brought up buried feelings.

He had just lost his sister Ayesha to cancer. 'Lost two grandmothers, lost a Father, lost my sister... and now I lost a little brother.' Shaq said.

This is heartbreaking. 

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Shaquille wrote on Sunday: 'There's no words to express the pain I'm going through with this tragedy of losing my niece Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed'. Just an hour before the crash, Shaqs son Shareef received a message from Bryant asking how he was. The families were very close.