Kobe Bryant‘s death on Sunday sent shock waves across the world.
The legendary NBA star passed away along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others after their helicopter crashed near Los Angeles.
As one of basketball’s all-time greatest players, Bryant has become a beloved sports icon to many who not only admired his skills and passion for the sport, but also his persona outside the court.
As soon as the news of his passing broke, fans and celebrities expressed their grief on social media. Among those who paid their respects online are celebrities of Asian descent.
“I cannot believe this is real. My god. Oh my god,” Chrissy Teigen tweeted. “Downtown right now and nothing feels more unimportant than what we are doing today. This is absolutely terrible. Everyone is numb.”
“Kobe. You were such a wonderful friend. Always positive and thoughtful and supportive and reliable and so, so bright. One of the brightest souls I’ve ever seen and I am absolutely devastated by this,” wrote actress Olivia Munn on Instagram.
“RIP Kobe 🙏🏼🙏🏼 From sharing the same bday to opponents to teammates…respect for everything you did for the game and world. Gone too soon, lifes truly too precious #legend,” basketball star Jeremy Lin wrote.
“I always respected his ability as a living legend and I definitely was a fan of retired Kobe. He was just beginning to do some really interesting things. The fact that his daughter was with him as well as other kids makes this tragedy even worse. RIP #mamba4life #mambamentality,” noted actor Daniel Wu.
“I can’t believe it. I can’t believe you’re gone,” starts Shang Chi star Simu Liu’s post on Instagram.
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
“#KobeBryant you were the greatest. You made our city and the rest of the world so proud. Every basketball fan knew the magnificence of the Mamba. Love and healing to Vanessa and those little girls. God, this is just the worst ever,” Mindy Kaling wrote on Twitter.
“Shocked and saddened to hear about Kobe Bryant. To us in Philly he was one of ours. His loss will be felt throughout the city. #ripkobe,” wrote filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan.
“My hometown of Los Angeles has lost a sports legend, Kobe Bryant, who was killed along with his 13-year old daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash today. My heart is with their family on the news of this tragic accident,” veteran actor George Takei shared.
“Kobe was a real life superhero on that court & I’m sure he was one to his family. Sending love and prayers to them. This is heartbreaking,” said singer Bruno Mars.
Actress Ming-Na Wen posted an image of the legendary player and simply wrote “RIP @kobebryant” in the caption.
Broadway star Lea Salonga also posted an image of Bryant, writing “RIP, Kobe and Gianna. #Mamba #Mambacita.”
“The world lost a legend today but the impact and legacy he leaves behind will last forever! #RIPMamba,” Boxing star Manny Pacquiao wrote on Instagram.
Aside from celebrities, some politicians in Asia also paid tribute to the 41-year-old athlete.
President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan took to Twitter to post that her “thoughts go out to the Bryant family & the families of all those who lost loved ones today.”
“Kobe inspired a generation of young Taiwanese basketball players, & his legacy will live on through those who loved him,” Tsai wrote.
In a statement through his spokesman Salvador Panelo, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte noted that Bryant was “well-loved by his Filipino fans.”
“On the hard court, he was a sight to behold with his dexterity and accuracy in sinking that ball in the ring. He was a master of his craft. The basketball world has lost one of its legendary greats,” Panelo said. “The Palace extends its deepest condolences to the family, friends, colleagues, loved ones and fans around the globe who Kobe left behind. We share in their grief.”
Kizo Hisamoto, the mayor of Kobe city in central Japan, also paid tribute to Bryant via a statement, according to CNN.
“Our city had the good fortune of crossing paths with Kobe Bryant as his father named him after the city, given his love of Kobe beef. Due to this connection with our city, Bryant came to visit the Kobe government office in 1998 to make a donation for the charity. And between 2001 to 2011, he became the city’s ambassador and told the world about us.”
“Kobe Bryant was an international superstar, who also held a special place for the people of Kobe city,” the mayor added. “We would once again like to express our gratitude for the support Kobe Bryant gave to this city and offer our heartfelt condolences.”