Current, former Phoenix Suns react to news of Kobe Bryant’s passing
NBA teams and Phoenix Suns players took to social media to voice their disbelief with the news of basketball legend and former Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Sunday in Calabasas, Calif.
Bryant was traveling with eight others, including the pilot and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, when the private helicopter went down on Sunday.
“On behalf of the league, the Suns and our players, our thoughts and prayers are with Kobe’s family, and that’s the deal right now,” Suns head coach Monty Williams said ahead of the team’s Sunday night game.
Suns forward Cheick Diallo and guard Jared Harper expressed their reactions on Twitter.
Forward Devin Booker paid homage to Bryant by writing “Be Legendary” on his shoes for Sunday’s game.
Former Suns players like Jamal Crawford, Alan Williams, Richaun Holmes and Alec Peters also couldn’t believe the news.
Former Suns forward Amar’e Stoudemire was coming off the court from his debut in the Israeli Premier League when he found out about the news.
“It feels unreal. I don’t even want to believe it,” Stoudemire said.
Bryant teamed with former Suns center Shaquille O’Neal to win three NBA titles from 2000-02.
Jared Dudley also played for the Suns, but is now part of the Los Angeles Lakers.
At the Toronto Raptors, San Antonio Spurs game on Sunday, the players unanimously decided to let the shot clock run out to honor No. 24.
Bryant, 41, is the Lakers franchise leader in points (33,643), games played (1,346), 3-pointers (1,827), steals (1,944) and free throws (8,378).