The sports world reacts to the death of Kobe Bryant

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

By Alex Barth,

In the hours after the news of Kobe Bryant's death, tributes began pouring in on social media.

Here's what past and present members of the Boston Celtics had to say:

Paul Pierce on Twitter

This is not real right now

Heart broken. My Hero. My Idol. The reason I started to play this game, the reason I fell in love with this game. Growing up wanting to be just like you, to you becoming a mentor, beyond thankful for everything you've done for me. "I didn't have a plan B I put all my eggs in one basket and I knew I was going to make it happen" hearing you say that stuck with me everyday of my life. You inspired me and I am forever grateful more than you know! Love you Bean ????????❤️! Sad, sad, sad day RIP Kobe and Gianna! Praying for the family!

257.9k Likes, 1,923 Comments - Jayson Tatum???????? (@jaytatum0) on Instagram: "Heart broken. My Hero. My Idol. The reason I started to play this game, the reason I fell in love..."

Cedric Maxwell on Twitter

I'm heart broken. Totally heart broken. Everyone in #Boston is draped in purple & gold today for #Kobe. Prayers To the Bryant family, the #Lakers family and the entire #NBA community. God bless. #RIPMAMBA #RIPKobeBryant #RIPKobe

TheBillRussell on Twitter

Jeannine & I are absolutely shocked to hear of the loss of one of my favorite people & one of the best basketball minds in the history of the game! Our hearts & prayers to Vanessa & his girls.

Kendrick Perkins on Twitter


Jared Sullinger Sr. on Twitter

To that other player and parent that haven't been confirm yet. We are praying for your family too. Your not forgotten... may God be with your family in this time...

Ball Realm on Twitter

Doc Rivers just completely broke down, this really hurts man. ????

Tributes came in from around the NBA, including the a moment of silence at the Raptors and Spurs game, and both teams running out the shot clock to start:

Jan 26, 2020; San Antonio, Texas, USA; A tribute is shown on the video board during a moment of silence acknowledging Kobe Bryant before the game between the San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Kirk Goldsberry on Twitter

Raptors and Spurs dribble out the 24.

Trae Young on Twitter

This S*** can't be real... this the first moment I was able to meet Gianna Maria, she's been to only 3 games this year... 2 of them were mine... She told me I was her favorite player to watch???????? I can't believe this???????? Rest Easy Gigi❤️

John Wall on Twitter


Zach LaVine on Twitter

More then just basketball man he has 4 daughters... life is crazy. Thoughts and prayers to his family.

Tristan Thompson on Twitter

RIP KOBE ???????????? I can't believe this is true. I'm at a loss for words ????

An absolute honor.. Rest In Peace Mamba

14.4k Likes, 40 Comments - Larry Nance Jr (@larrydn7) on Instagram: "An absolute honor.. Rest In Peace Mamba"

Kobe Bryant's former teammate Shaquille O'Neal. The two won three NBA Championships together:

SHAQ on Twitter

There's no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board.

More responses from athletes in other sports:

Tom Brady on Twitter

We miss you already Kobe ❤️❤️????????????????

NFLAustralia on Twitter

He inspired so many people," Drew Brees on Kobe Bryant (via @Saints)

Jan 26, 2020; Orlando, Florida, USA; A moment of silence is observed in the memory of Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (1978-2020) during the 2020 NFL Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Van Noy on Twitter

What are some people's favorite Kobe moments... please share.... 1 of mine has to be Kobe hitting 2 free throws on a torn Achilles to tie the game!! Can't Imagine the pain he had shootin but he made it look so easy. He inspired generations Pure greatness! #MambaMentality #rip

Mike Trout on Twitter

My heart and prayers go out to the Bryant family and the passengers' families on this sad day. The impact Kobe had on the world cannot be expressed in words. RIP to a legend and a friend... ????????

Alex Morgan on Twitter

My heart is heavy with the news of Kobe Bryant. Prayers go out to his family right now through this unthinkable time.

Collin Justin on Twitter

Neymar paying his respects to a legend. Kobe moved everyone. Not just basketball players.

Usain St. Leo Bolt on Twitter

Still can't believe ⁦@kobebryant⁩ ????????????????????????????????

Simone Biles on Twitter

rest in peace Kobe ????