As one of the most recognizable athletes on planet Earth, the tragic news of Kobe Bryant’s death in a helicopter accident has shaken the sporting world.
With a combination spectacular talent on the NBA court, an unmatched work ethic off the court and determination to win at all costs, Bryant, 41, captivated audiences worldwide like few athletes ever have.
A student of Bruce Lee’s iconic Jeet Kune Do, the five-time NBA champion was no stranger to the world of martial arts. While he never competed professionally, the man dubbed “The Black Mamba” often dipped his toe into the world MMA with business ventures such as ESPN’s “DETAILED,” featuring former UFC double champ Daniel Cormier, and his sports drink Body Armor, which has been prominently featured on the scales at ceremonial weigh-ins and press conferences.
Below is how the fighting community reacted the untimely death of the future NBA Hall of Famer.
A million apologies and condolences we just lost a super athlete #ripKobe— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) January 26, 2020
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) January 26, 2020
Just sad man...— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) January 26, 2020
Woke up to the news and it’s sad az.
Terribly sad— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) January 26, 2020
RIP to a legend who meant so much to so many. You will be remembered forever as the champion you are. pic.twitter.com/xRVuSf157X
Bruh wtf !?!?!!?!!??!!!— Platinum Mike Perry (@PlatinumPerry) January 26, 2020
I’ll rephrase my last tweet since everyone wants to talk shit.— Michael Chiesa (@MikeMav22) January 26, 2020
TMZ just reported that Kobe Bryant has passed away in a helicopter crash in Calabasas. I hope it’s not true but if it is, my condolences go out to his family and the millions of lives he positively impacted.
One of the greatest athletes of all time . RIP KOBE BRYANT pic.twitter.com/iAk0vdR98B— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) January 26, 2020
Damn RIP Kobe. That meme with him talking to his duaghter at the game hit hard man— Sodiq Yusuff (@Super_Sodiq) January 26, 2020
Can’t believe what I just heard. My heart is broken. God bless his family. @kobebryant— glover teixeira (@gloverteixeira) January 26, 2020
I just had 2 people message me that Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash. I don’t believe this. Is this for real?— Carla Esparza (@CarlaEsparza1) January 26, 2020
RIP Legend to a legend Kobe Bryant— Edmen Shahbazyan (@edmenshahbazyan) January 26, 2020
So tragic prayers to his family https://t.co/94zAhiNk50— Niko Price (@Nikohybridprice) January 26, 2020
OMG KOBE !!!— JIMI MANUWA (@POSTERBOYJM) January 26, 2020
Wow RIP mamba— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) January 26, 2020
I am a wrestler and fighter at heart but athlete by choice. Kobe has to be one of the most iconic athletes of my generation that I can remember watching for so many years. RIP Kobe— Deron Winn (@DeronWinn) January 26, 2020
Kobe had an invincible aura to him, almost god-like. It’s crazy to think something like this could happen to him #RIP— Louis Smolka (@LASTSAMURAIUFC) January 26, 2020
I’m speechless...— Danger Dobson (@shana_dobson) January 26, 2020
MAMBA MENTALITY— Boston Salmon (@bostonboomboom) January 26, 2020
Please tell me this is not real? Omgoodness! If so, my heart goes out to his family! https://t.co/UQVGkkraI7— Marion Reneau (@BelizeanBruiser) January 26, 2020
Wow I can’t believe the news on Kobe right now— Brad Tavares (@BradTavares) January 26, 2020
RIP to the legend @kobebryant Honestly can’t even believe that this news is true. Growing up wasn’t a Kobe/Laker fan, but couldn’t help to admire, appreciate, and respect the competitor that he was, and all that he… https://t.co/VVRJvF7cpm— Brad Tavares (@BradTavares) January 26, 2020
RIP Kobe. This is a dark hour and dark world at times. But you made it a brighter place and inspired me growing up. Thank you. My heart is out to your family. ♥️— Anthony Rocco Martin (@TonyRoccoMartin) January 26, 2020
WTF Kobe’s really dead?— Bonecrusher ☠️ (@Marc_Diakiese) January 26, 2020
Man Kobe was one of my fav/ greatest athletes of all time . RIP to a great one— Eryk Anders (@erykanders) January 26, 2020
Rest in Power Black Mamba #24— Montel Jackson (@Montello135) January 26, 2020
Wow .... Life is precious. RIP Legend https://t.co/IsDhikzNqo— Randy Costa (@RandyCosta135) January 26, 2020
This is so terrible.— Austin Arnett (@AustinArnettMMA) January 26, 2020
All I can think about are his daughters.
I’ll be praying for them https://t.co/SRDsFENX9e