Football stars pay emotional tribute to Kobe Bryant after NBA legend's untimely demise
- Tributes have poured in from footballers past and present, as Kobe Bryant tragically passed away in a helicopter crash in California.
Kobe Bryant is not only widely regarded as one of the best players in the history of the NBA but also one of the greatest athletes in the modern era and his contributions will be remembered for decades to come. The 41-year-old's tragic passing in a helicopter crash, which claimed 8 other victims including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, has devastated the entire sporting community, with fans across the world mourning the loss of one of the greats of the game.
According to TMZ, none of the passengers on board survived the devastating accident, as Kobe's helicopter crashed into the Calabasas hillside, thereby exploding into flames.
Bryant, who was drafted as a 17-year-old, spent the entirety of his professional career with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he went on to break numerous long-standing records on his way to becoming one of the most decorated players of his generation. Aside from being the 4th highest points scorer in NBA history, Bryant was the first guard in the history of the game to feature in at least 20 seasons and the American was an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team, and the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP).
The former LA Lakers star is one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA but his influence extends far beyond the sport, as he inspired tens and thousands of up and coming sportsmen. In terms of football, however, Bryant has been pictured with a whole host of superstars of the game throughout his glittering career and tributes have flown in after his untimely demise.
Jose Mourinho, most recently, singled out the American for special praise upon taking charge of Tottenham Hotspur last year and the fact that a legendary manager from another sport holds him in such high regard is the most startling example yet of the influence he's had.
"If you have to speak about some examples of professionalism and serial winners, Kobe is a great example in his sport and in the world of sport. People say that I’m difficult but I’m only difficult for the ones that don’t share my principles. So all the colleagues that share his principles they just love him. The ones that don’t like him are the ones that don’t share the principles."
Bryant is sure to leave a lasting impression for years to come, as he was a model professional on and off the pitch. The tragic passing of the icon has led to universal mourning, with footballers and clubs expressing their grief about the grave incident. Tributes have flown in recently, with players past and present mourning the loss of a once in a generation athlete.