DENVER — Reactions from Colorado sports figures and fans began to pour in Sunday after NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s death became known.
Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter were among nine killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California around 10 a.m. Sunday, according to multiple reports.
Former Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning released the following statement:
“I am incredibly saddened by the traffic news of Kobe Bryant’s passing. I always appreciated Kobe’s talent, work-ethic and competitiveness. Most of all, I appreciated his friendship. He was a friend and we worked together recently on several projects. I was honored to be asked by Kobe to be part of his Detail show and really enjoyed our interaction over the years. We retired at the same time and had to make that transition together. I am so shocked and saddened. My prayers are with the Bryant family and the families of everyone involved. I will miss Kobe very much just like so many will. It’s just an incredibly sad day.”
Broncos General Manager John Elway tweeted:
"Kobe was an iconic athlete, basketball legend and one of the all-time great competitors in sports. My prayers go out to the Bryant family and all the families of the other passengers who lost their lives today."
Nikola Jokic said Kobe Bryant’s reach was international. “The world has lost a really huge person,” Jokic said.
The sports community, celebrities and even President Donald Trump have begun to express their condolences online.
Nuggets fans during Sunday's game showed their respect for the icon.
“It’s a sad moment in history, but he will go down as one of the greatest of all time,” said Angel Escalante.
The news spread quickly before the Nuggets 1 pm tipoff. Some fans told Denver7 that while they love the Nuggets, on this day, basketball lost all meaning.
“We’ve never left a Nuggets game early," said Ana Pinedo. "It feels weird watching them play basketball, so we are leaving early."
“It felt eerie watching it. I couldn’t help think of Kobe,” said Stephen Quiroz said.