Current and former Chicago Bulls players are paying tribute to Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant after he was killed in a tragic helicopter crash in California Sunday.
Bryant, along with his daughter Gianna, was killed when a helicopter crashed and caught fire on a hillside in the Calabasas area outside of Los Angeles early Sunday morning.
The aircraft's manifest listed a total of nine people, including the pilot, on board.
As the news of Bryant’s death spread, Bulls players were among those expressing their shock on social media.
Legendary Chicago Bulls guard and current Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan issued a statement calling Bryant a "little brother" and expressing shock over his death:
"I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe's and Gianna's passing. Words can't describe the pain I'm feeling," he said. "I loved Kobe - he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much."
Bulls General Manager and former player John Paxson issued a statement on behalf of the organization, saying that Bryant's "legacy and persona will forever be remembered:"
Bulls legend Scottie Pippen called the crash “incredibly sad and tragic” in a post on Twitter:
Former Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade expressed the same shock as basketball fans around the country:
Bulls guard Zach LaVine also tweeted after the crash:
Bulls forward Thaddeus Young described the crash as “devastating” and offered his condolences to Bryant’s family:
Bulls point guard Coby White summed his emotions up succinctly, saying "this hurts man. Bad."
Former Bulls player Dennis Rodman shared a photo of he and Bryant after the news became public:
Bryant retired from the NBA in 2016 after spending 20 seasons with the Lakers. He retired as the third-leading scorer in league history, making 18 All-Star teams and winning five titles during his distinguished career.
According to a report, Bryant’s oldest daughter was on the helicopter when it crashed.