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'Words cannot describe the pain I'm feeling': Michael Jordan shares emotional statement on the death of Kobe Bryant

insider@insider.com (Tyler Lauletta)
Kobe Bryant Michael Jordan

INCENT LAFORET/AFP via Getty Images

  • The NBA world is in mourning after the death of Kobe Bryant, who passed away in a helicopter crash on Sunday.
  • Tributes from across the sporting world poured in, including a statement from fellow NBA legend Michael Jordan.
  • "I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe's and Gianna's passing," the statement read. "Words cannot describe the pain I'm feeling."
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The NBA world was shocked on Sunday by the death of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who passed away in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.

Tributes and words of praise came in from figures across the sporting world, as fellow NBA players, former teammates, and other superstar athletes learned of the tragic news.

In a statement, Michael Jordan paid tribute to Bryant, one of the few players to ever earn the honor of being compared to him as the potential greatest of all time.

"I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe's and Gianna's passing," the statement read. "Words cannot describe the pain I'm feeling."

He continued:

"I loved Kobe — he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much. He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force. Kobe was also an amazing dad who loved his family deeply — and took great pride in his daughter's love for the game of basketball. Yvette joins me in sending my deepest condolences to Vanessa, the Lakers organization and basketball fans around the world."

 

 

On the court, teams joined Jordan in paying tribute to Bryant.

After winning the opening tip of Sunday's game against the San Antonio Spurs, the Toronto Raptors let the 24-second shot clock run out to start the game in honor of Kobe, who wore no. 24 through the latter half of his career with the Lakers.

As the clock ran out, fans in San Antonio chanted Kobe's name.

  • Read more:

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Moving Kobe Bryant video tribute from 2016 shows NBA players and coaches thanking the legend for everything he did for the game of basketball

Kobe Bryant honored by Raptors and Spurs as they let 24-second shot clock run out at the start of their game

Kobe Bryant was known for his intense work ethic, here are 24 examples

Kobe Bryant's last public appearance was at an NBA game with his daughter Gigi

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