DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — Mark Cuban, along with former and current players for the Dallas Mavericks are taking to social media in reaction to the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant.
Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among nine killed in a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter crash in Calabasas, California Sunday morning. He was 41-years-old.
The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed there were no survivors.
The Federal Aviation Administration is currently investigating the cause of the crash.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban quickly tweeted after the news broke saying, “We can never forget how precious life is. How those who are special to you and never let them forget how deeply you love them.”
Damn. RIP Mamba. May your memory be a blessing
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) January 26, 2020
Cuban also shared a thank you to his friends saying how “it hurts that it takes a tragedy to remind us of our mortality.”
“To all of my friends, thank you. Each of you have shared part of yourself with me and made my life better. I have tried to do the same. If you were here I would hug you like I just hugged my family. It hurts that it takes a tragedy to remind us of our mortality.”
In a statement released Sunday night, the Mavericks said the number 24 will never again be worn by a Dallas Maverick.
“We are shocked and saddened by the devastating news of the passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. Kobe was an ambassador for our game, a decorated legend and a global icon. Above all, he was a loving and dedicated father.
Kobe’s legacy transcends basketball, and our organization has decided that the number 24 will never again be worn by a Dallas Maverick.
Our hearts go out to all the lives lost and the families impacted by this terrible tragedy. We send our thoughts and prayers to Vanessa and the family, the Lakers organization and Kobe Bryant fans everywhere.”
Former Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki waited several hours before releasing a statement on Bryant’s passing, giving his “deepest sympathies” to his wife and children.
“You will always be missed.
You will always be remembered.
You will always be loved.”
— Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) January 27, 2020
Newcomer for the Mavs Luka Doncic also took to Twitter with his shocked responses, “this can’t be trueee!!” and “NO PLEASE.”
The small forward then posted a photo with Gianna, who he had previously met.
🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏 this is so sad! RIP💔💔💔 pic.twitter.com/5ykf0drVSG
— Luka Doncic (@luka7doncic) January 26, 2020
Kristaps Porzingis said on an Instagram post that he couldn’t believe the news was true.
“My favorite player growing up just passed. I cant believe this is true,” Porzingis said. “Rest in peace Kobe. Legends live forever.”
Other players like point guards Jalen Brunson and J. J. Barea also shared their disbelief.
Please tell me this kobe news is fake please 😓😓😓😓😓😓😓
— Jalen Brunson (@jalenbrunson1) January 26, 2020
— José Juan Barea (@jjbareapr) January 26, 2020
Bryant retired in 2016 as the third-leading scorer in NBA history, finishing two decades with the Lakers as a prolific scorer, AP reported. He held that spot in the league scoring ranks until Saturday night, when the Lakers’ LeBron James passed him for third place during a game in Philadelphia, Bryant’s hometown.
In November,he wanted to be remembered for generations as a “storyteller,” with the “basketball side” being for the older generations.