The sporting world, in fact the world in general, is still trying to come to terms with the awful and shocking death of basketball great Kobe Bryant, who was tragically killed in a helicopter accident yesterday; as were all the other passengers in the helicopter; Kobe’s young daughter among them (bad weather conditions being reported as the reason for the accident). And though Kobe was no boxer – instead using his own Sweet Science on the basketball court – the boxing world has been moved to pay tribute to the 41 year old who was taken far too soon.
Floyd Mayweather (yet to comment officially) was a good friend of Kobe’s, also a big fan (Mayweather was fond of saying how fans who went to a Laker’s game were not going to see The Lakers, but to see Kobe Bryant. Floyd also issued a one-on-one basketball challenge to Kobe, for a cool $1 million, a year or so ago), while Bryant became friendly with boxing giants such as heavyweight legends Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson.
Tyson wrote in his tributary tweet how he is “messed up” over what happened in California.
Other figures from the world of boxing to have paid tribute and offer their condolences to Kobe include: George Foreman, Lennox Lewis, Frank Bruno, David Haye, Kell Brook, Eddie Hearn, Terence Crawford, Tony Bellew and Chris Eubank Junior; with all of them taking to social media to express their sadness and shock.
A genuine sporting superstar who was genuinely liked by all, Kobe really did light up the basketball court the way the great boxers were able to light up the prize ring. As Mike Tyson has written, there really are no words at this sad time. Our condolences go out to Kobe’s family and friends.
Tyson’s tweet in full reads:
“I mourn with the world. Lost a legend. No words. I’m messed up. RIP @kobebryant, Gianna and the rest of the passengers.”
Kobe Bryant: 23 August 1978 to 26 January 2020. May he rest in peace.