The tragic helicopter crash that killed former NBA star Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others continues to garner emotional reactions and remembrances from around the country and the world. Bryant's status as not just an American sports star but also an athlete admired globally was on display Monday when Real Madrid held a moment of silence for Bryant before its soccer match and when on court tributes were done by men's and women's players at the Australian Open.
On social media, in locker rooms and on television, reaction has poured in with some emotional tributes and remembrances. Lakers star LeBron James, who Saturday night passed Kobe Bryant to move into third place on the NBA's all-time scoring list, posted his first comments on Instagram.
Former NBA player Jason Terry, part of the Dallas Mavericks TV Network, shared his personal grief. Like Bryant, Terry has coached his daughter's eighth grade basketball team. He revealed Monday that it was his team, that Bryant, his daughter and the other passengers in the helicopter, were traveling to play. Terry discussed it briefly on the Mavericks pregame show.
Late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon became friends with Bryant when they were both up and comers. Kobe was just entering the NBA and Fallon was beginning his career as a comedian. He relayed a humorous and touching story of their first meeting.
Former NBA star Tracy McGrady, an analyst for ESPN's "The Jump" competed against Bryant in his playing days but had become even closer friends in recent years. Their children played with and against each other in basketball and other sports. He emotionally talked about Kobe's daughter Gianna, and the enormous potential that was lost due to the crash.
There have been hundreds of commentaries on Bryant since Sunday's accident but perhaps the most poignant was delivered by ESPN Sports Center anchor Elle Duncan. She recalled her one and only meeting with Bryant and recalled how proud he was to be the father of, at the time, three daughters. Bryant and his wife Vanessa subsequently had one more girl. Duncan's tribute to Bryant was beautiful and will likely put a lump in your throat.
Finally, it's easy, because of Bryant's fame, to forget that there were seven other victims, including two other 13-year old girls that were teammates of Gianna. Those families are broken as well and a simple tweet by former Buckeye basketball star Jared Sullinger helped put it all in perspective.