I don’t want to be writing this, but #MambaMentaility tells me to be stronger and put in the work. On Sunday, the world was shocked by the passing of Los Angeles legend and world icon Kobe Bean Bryant. The 18-time NBA All-Star spent his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
He came into the league as a scrawny 18 year-old kid out of Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In his 20 years in the game, his legacy was built as a pillar of not only Los Angeles sports, but the city itself.
As we lost Kobe as well as his 13 year-old daughter Gianna in a tragic aircraft accident on Sunday, the weight of the tragedy created a feeling so somber, even the sun never fully showed its face on an overcast January day.
Beyond the feeling of this writer — and I feel I speak for the entirety of Dodgers Nation as well — the sports world took to social media to mourn the passing of a legend.
Here we’ll focus on Dodgers players (both current and former), as well as organizational members that shared their feelings with a contemporary, and in some cases, a friend.
We are devastated to learn of the passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna. Our thoughts go out to all the families involved in the tragedy and everyone in the Lakers, Los Angeles and NBA communities. pic.twitter.com/NDcCDP0GtM
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) January 26, 2020
Making this Tweet even more devastating was the fact that less than a day earlier, Kobe had sent a message to Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger from one MVP to another.
15 hours ago man… I actually cannot believe this. Praying for his family and close friends. Hoping it’s not true https://t.co/WI9UuuTGQ8
— Cody Bellinger (@Cody_Bellinger) January 26, 2020
As the news was unfortunately confirmed, more Dodger reactions rolled in.
— Justin Turner (@redturn2) January 27, 2020
Man…. KOBE!! ? unbelievable heartbreaking news!! ? thoughts and prayers to the families of all the victims in this horrible accident! #RIPKobe
— Enrique Hernández (@kikehndez) January 26, 2020
Devastated. Prayers for Kobe and his family. He was the first athlete I ever wrote a letter to in hopes of him sending me an autograph back. Months later I had a Kobe card show up in the mail. First class human that impacted so many peoples lives in a positive manner.
— Alex Wood (@Awood45) January 26, 2020
Most devastating in all of this that it wasn’t just Kobe take from us in the accident… the lives of 8 more people were taken from this world, including a local collegiate baseball coach and his daughter, and Gianna Bryant, Kobe’s daughter. As that hit us all in the gut, more Dodgers felt the gravity of the entirety of the news.
I can’t think straight right now.
My heart is with Kobe’s wife Vanessa & their children who not only lost a husband and dad but a daughter and sister, Gianna. Love & prayers for all their friends & for all the families and friends of those who lost their lives today. Love to LA. pic.twitter.com/aiRYKeGTYV
— Kenley Jansen (@kenleyjansen74) January 26, 2020
As I try to write this post, my mind is racing. I’m in disbelief and have been crying all morning over this devastating news that Kobe and his young daughter, Gigi have passed away in a helicopter crash. Cookie and I are heartbroken. pic.twitter.com/X2vF0M0a1u
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 26, 2020
While Mamba may not have had a deep, personal connection with each organizational member he may have encountered along the way, he still took the time with everyone he could.
Shocked and saddened. Having worked with Kobe at his studio the past couple years, I can tell you he was just as passionate and dedicated to his work off the court as he was on the court. Condolences to his family. #RIPKobeBryant https://t.co/DqHDwlHSzJ
— Dieter Ruehle (@DieterRuehle) January 26, 2020
As we all continue to unpack and process this tragedy, we also take a moment to be thankful.
Thank you, Kobe. Thank you for everything you’ve done for Los Angeles over the years. And thank you for everything that will continue to be done because of you even after you’re gone.
Thank you for creating memories no LA County resident will forget. Our thoughts are with all the families affected by this tragedy. pic.twitter.com/M9mwd9pGpE
— Los Angeles County (@CountyofLA) January 26, 2020