San Antonio Spurs players were devastated to learn Kobe Bryant died Sunday morning in a plane crash.
“Can’t be true," Marco Belinelli tweeted after several news outlets confirmed that Bryant was among nine people who died after a private helicopter crashed in Calabasas. “My hero," Belinelli said in a subsequent tweet.
Manu Ginobili, a former Spurs guard who played against Bryant for years, shared similar sentiments. “Devastated,” he posted on Twitter.
Devastated.— Manu Ginobili (@manuginobili) January 26, 2020
Ginobili wasn’t the only former Spurs who shared his reaction with Twitter about Bryant’s untimely death at age 41.
“I’m heartbroken by this news, you were a true legend, and friend,” Tony Parker tweeted. “Rest In Peace @kobebryant, my thoughts and prayers to his wife and kids.”
Matt Bonner, who is known as the “Red Mamba,” thanked Bryant for his nickname, among other things.
My heart breaks... Thank you for everything you gave us on and off the court. Thank you for my nickname. Thank you for everything you taught us about the #MambaMentality... A true icon and champion... Praying hard for your family... RIP Black Mamba 😔🙏 #MambaForever pic.twitter.com/t4jRBckVMp— Matt Bonner (@mattbonner_15) January 26, 2020
The sheriff’s department received reports of the downed aircraft just after 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m PT), officials said in a tweet. No one survived the crash.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, retired NBA basketball legend Kobe Bryant, 41, was one of the victims of the crash.
I’m still numb from the loss of one of our NBA family in Kobe Bryant. He was everything we loved as an athlete with impeccable work ethic, fiery competitiveness, a flair for the dramatic, and an amazing balance of family and business. Please pray for all the families.#RIPKobe— David Robinson (@DavidtheAdmiral) January 27, 2020
Bigger Than A Game Of Basketball. Thank You KOBE For Inspiring Me To Not Make Excuses And Get Shit Done But Most Importantly Thank You For Inspiring Me As A FATHER, You And GIGI Relationship Motivated Me To Rock With My Baby Girl Anywhere And Anyplace!! 🙏🏽💔#Kobe💛 #GIGI💛 pic.twitter.com/5WkJfEA4ch— Dejounte Murray (@DejounteMurray) January 27, 2020
Hard to put what you meant to so many people into words. I will miss a great person on and off the court. You always took the time to show my kids and family love and I will never forget that! RIP Kobe 💔 pic.twitter.com/PGTYNbVNXn— LaMarcus Aldridge (@aldridge_12) January 27, 2020
This was the #Spurs tribute video to Kobe Bryant before his last game in San Antonio in 2016. Truly a respect and admiration from Tim, Tony, Manu and Coach Pop. The words at the end of the video from Pop make today’s news just that much more tragic. https://t.co/zAbD3K6OqU— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) January 26, 2020