LeBron James' devastating breakdown over Kobe Bryant tragedy

Riley Morgan
Sports Reporter

The news of Kobe Bryant and his daughter’s death has devastated the basketball community, which could be seen in LeBron James’ reaction.

Los Angeles Lakers legend Bryant died on Sunday when a helicopter crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California.

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His daughter, known as Gigi, was on board with a fellow player and parent on her travel basketball team.

The world is mourning the loss of an NBA great and this was seen when James exited the Los Angeles team plane following the news of Bryant and Gianna’s death.

James was clearly emotional as he appeared to wipe away tears and hug those in mourning.

LeBron James reacting to the tragic news of Kobe Bryant's death. (Images: 12News.com)

The 35-year-old James passed Lakers legend Bryant to become the NBA's all-time third highest scorer during yesterday’s match, finishing it on 33,655 points and now trailing only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) and Karl Malone (36,928).

And it was Bryant who paid respect to James as the ‘The King’ climbed the rankings.

NBA world reacts

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers was fighting back tears during a pre-game conference when talking about the death of the LA Lakers legend.

Rivers was asked about Bryant’s death ahead of the Clippers’ match against the Orlando Magic and was fighting back tears in the press conference.

“I don’t know,” he started.

“I just don’t have a lot to say. The news is just devastating to everybody that knew him.

A fan shows off a Kobe Bryant jersey during the first half between the Orlando Magic and the LA Clippers at Amway Center on January 26, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

“And he means a lot to me obviously, he was such a great opponent. It’s what you want in sports. He had that DNA that very few athletes can ever have. The Tiger Woods and the Michael Jordan’s.

“It’s funny I was getting to know him more since he retired.

“This is a tough one. We have to go play.”

Sunday’s game between the Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs went on as scheduled despite the league-wide mourning, and the players involved found a way to honour the memory of Bryant after the opening tip.

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Following a moment of silence from the arena presentation, players from both teams stood still and allowed the 24-second shot clock expire on their opening possessions after the tip-off, a nod to Bryant’s number 24 jersey.