Trail Blazers, NBA icons react to Kobe Bryant’s death

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Bill Russell said Bryant "one of the best basketball minds in the history of the game"

FILE – In this March 28, 2016, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant waves to the fans after his introduction before the start of the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, in Salt Lake City. Bryant, the 18-time NBA All-Star who won five championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, died in a helicopter crash Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020. He was 41. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland Trail Blazers have released a statement regarding Sunday’s helicopter crash that took the life of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, as well as his daughter, Gianna:

“The entire Trail Blazers organization is shocked and devastated by the tragic loss of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna. Kobe’s indelible mark on the NBA and the game of basketball globally will live on forever. Our prayers and condolences are with the Bryant family and the other families affected, the Los Angeles Lakers organization and all those that knew and loved Kobe.

Blazers players also reacted to the tragic news through their own Twitter accounts.

In Corvallis, the Ducks and the Beavers held a moment of silence before the start of the Civil War game.

Others around the NBA offered their condolences and memories of Bryant.

Boston Celtics Hall of Famer Larry Bird called Bryant “a man of the world” and added that the former Lakers star “touched so many lives and communities in the most positive ways.”

Five-time MVP Bill Russell said Bryant was one of his favorite people and “one of the best basketball minds in the history of the game.”

Houston Rockets center Tyson Chandler cries during a tribute to Kobe Bryant before an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Denver. Bryant died in a California helicopter crash Sunday. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called Bryant a “giant who inspired, amazed and thrilled people everywhere.”

He went on to say, “This is a moment that leaves us struggling to find words that express the magnitude of shock and sorrow we are all feeling right now, and I am keeping Kobe’s entire family in my prayers at this time of unimaginable grief.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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