One year after Kobe Bryant's death, Pau Gasol, Magic Johnson, NBA and more pay tribute

People are taking to Twitter to remember the basketball great.

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3 min read

Kobe and Gianna Bryant at a Lakers game in 2019.

Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

One year after the shocking helicopter crash that killed retired NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others, people are taking to Twitter to pay tribute to the basketball great. Everyone from NBA legend Pau Gasol to former top tennis player Billie Jean King to rapper Ice Cube reflected on the loss of the former Los Angeles Laker, and the impact Bryant had on both those he knew and those he didn't. 

The helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020, in Calabasas, California, sent shockwaves around the world, as people tried to grapple with the loss of an icon and his young daughter. Bryant, who was 41, is widely regarded as one of basketball's all-time greatest players. He spent his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, winning five NBA championships and earning All-Star honors 18 times. He was the league's most valuable player in 2008 and won two gold medals with the USA Men's Basketball team, in 2008 and 2012.

Here are some top tweets paying tribute to Bryant.

Magic Johnson tweeted: "Kobe will always be my @Lakers brother for life." 

The NBA retweeted an image posted by the Los Angeles Lakers showing Bryant and daughter Gianna sitting side-by-side as he kisses the top of her head. The tweet reads, "Family is Forever."

Fellow former Lakers star Pau Gasol tweeted, "I miss you, hermano," along with a screenshot of a longer tribute and images of him with Bryant, as well as a shot of Gianna and her dad.

"The last year showed us life can be unpredictable & fragile," wrote Billie Jean King. "It's been 1 year since the deaths of Kobe Bryant, Gianna & those on board with them. Kobe was a champion of basketball, but also of women's sports. He was the ultimate #GirlDad. Thinking of his loved ones today."

"We all miss you Kobe," Ice Cube tweeted, alongside an older photo of the two together. 

ESPN shared a narrated video montage of Bryant, writing: "One name. One icon. One legacy. Kobe."

The NFL also paid tribute, tweeting, "Remembering Kobe & Gianna Bryant and all those who tragically lost their lives one year ago today."

Sport Center tweeted a clip of Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets wearing a Kobe jersey before a game.

Sports journalist Stephen A. Smith shared a video in which he reflects on the last time he saw Bryant. "To see him gone now, it just still hurts," he says. "It hurts a lot, and it's gonna hurt for a very, very long time. I think it's gonna hurt forever."

Rapper Common tweeted: "Today, we mourn the loss of Kobe and Gigi Bryant and all the lives lost on this day last year in a tragic helicopter accident. We send love and light to their families. They may be gone but they will never be forgotten."

Journalist Jemele Hill shared a clip from her last interview with Bryant, writing, "based off our conversation about @Kaepernick7, I believe he would have been a powerful voice in 2020. Hard not to think about Kobe's death in relationship to the many things that unraveled after."

Another journalist, Marc J. Spears, shared: "I used to communicate with Kobe Bryant via email. Never forgot the short note he sent me back when I first got the job at @TheUndefeated. Even with the amazing [job] he was doing on and off the court, he found time to offer respect and satisfaction in your success, too. You are missed."