Kobe Bryant's death: Tributes pour in from fans around the world

From the Philippines to Puerto Rico, admirers remember the late athlete.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper
3 min read

News of the shocking deaths of basketball star Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others, continues to reverberate around the globe on Monday. Bryant and the others died Sunday when the helicopter they were on crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California. But the American athlete was mourned far beyond the borders of his home country.

His Italian home feels the loss

Bryant lived in Italy as a child while his father, Joe Bryant, played basketball there, and his death hit many in the country hard. Luca Vecchi, the mayor of the northern Italian town of Reggio Emilia, where Bryant lived, mourned the player in numerous Facebook posts.

"Kobe Bryant grew up here and was for all of us a Reggiano," Vecchi wrote in a post. "A basketball legend that all our city will remember forever with affection and gratitude."

Philippines: House of Kobe court

A new basketball court in Valenzuela City, in Metro Manila, Philippines, dubbed "House of Kobe," had just opened hours before the helicopter crash. It was already decorated with wall-sized murals honoring Bryant, Yahoo Sports reports, but a new mural featuring Bryant and Gianna is being added on Monday. Fans are leaving candles and messages in honor of the crash victims.

Puerto Rico mourns

One Twitter user shared an image of Bryant's first name displayed on a large sign in Puerto Rico.

Global athletes remember Bryant

Athletes from around the world were among those mourning Bryant's death. Argentine football manager and retired legendary player Diego Maradona shared an image of Bryant with angel wings. His caption read in part, "Hasta la vista ("see you later"), legend."

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt tweeted about Bryant's death, sharing a photo of the two men and writing, "still can't believe."

Retired German basketball player Dirk Nowitzki tweeted a heartfelt farewell to Bryant and support for his family, writing, "You inspired so many around the world, including me."

Paris Saint-Germain football star Neymar held up two fingers on one hand and four on the other after scoring a goal in a game on Sunday, marking Bryant's jersey number of 24, the BBC reported. Neymar also shared photos of Bryant on Instagram.

Prime minister mourns

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also remembered Bryant in a tweet, which in part notes that the crash made Sunday "a sad day for all sports lovers in the world."

Subway tribute

Bryant, of course, continued to be remembered in the United States. A sign marking the 42nd Street-Bryant Park subway station in New York also honored the NBA star, with someone taping over the "42nd Street" part of the sign and adjusting the sign to read, "Kobe Bryant Park."

Grammys: House that Kobe built

Sunday night's Grammy Awards were held at downtown Los Angeles' Staples Center, home venue of Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers. Fans set up a memorial to the late player outside the arena, while inside, Grammy hosts, performers, and nominees paid numerous tributes to Bryant.

"Earlier today, Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero," said Grammys host Alicia Keys. "We're literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built."

Star Wars star remembers

Star Wars star Mark Hamill recalled presenting Bryant with a 2018 Academy Award for the animated short film, Dear Basketball. "It was an honor to present him his much-deserved Oscar," the Luke Skywalker actor wrote in a tweet.

Planters takes a pause

Planters snack company announced it was pausing promotion of its Super Bowl ad campaign, which features the brand's mascot, Mr. Peanut, dying in a fireball after plunging from a cliff after a car crash. As of Monday morning, the company still planned to air the ad featuring the character's death and another showing his funeral on Sunday.