Kanye West leads tributes to Kobe Bryant on anniversary of NBA legend's death

Celebrities and fans have paid tribute to basketball legend Kobe Bryant on the second anniversary of his death.

The NBA star was tragically killed in a helicopter crash on 26 January 2020, along with his teenage daughter Gianna.

The Bryant family, his fans, friends and colleagues are still in mourning for the star athlete, and social media has today been flooded with tributes.

Leading the tributes was Donda rapper Kanye West, who shared a black-and-white photograph to Instagram of the pair laughing together and captioned it simply: ‘Miss you family’.

Actor Jamie Foxx, who was a close friend of Bryant’s, shared a snap of the sunset and tagged Bryant’s Instagram handle along with a series of praying hand emojis.

Bryant’s widow and the mother of 13-year-old Gigi, Vanessa, shared a sweet family photo taken at a Lakers game, with the athlete holding their young daughter and kissing his wife; she captioned it simply ’81’.

Bryant’s former Lakers team-mates and other basketball stars joined in the tributes, sharing their memories and messages of support for his family, with Danilo Gallinari writing: ‘After two years, it still doesn’t feel real.

‘You will forever in us, Legend!’

Scottie Pippen wrote that it was a ‘sad day thinking about the loss of a friend, a father, a husband, and one of the greatest.

‘Remember Kobe and his beautiful daughter Gigi, and thinking of the family and friends of all who lost their lives two years ago.’

Close friend Vince Carter said he was ‘thankful to see another year of life but it’s really tough to celebrate when the world lost a great human being on this same day’.

He said that he would spend the day celebrating Bryant, and to ‘say thank you for the battles & the friendship (Sic)’.

US sports TV journalist and commentator Stephen A Smith shared a clip of his ‘top 5 Kobe Bryant moments’, including his last-ever game, which he said was ‘a spectacular, spectacular memory’.

Bryant died in January 2020, alongside daughter Gigi and seven others.

The pair had been travelling to the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, California for basketball practice.

Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, 56, his daughter Alyssa Altobelli and wife Keri Altobelli were also on board the helicopter.

Bryant is one of the most successful basketball players of all time having won five NBA championships with LA Lakers, appeared in 18 All-Star games and scoring 33,643 points before retiring in 2016.

The father and daughter are survived by Vanessa and her three other children with the NBA star: Natalia, 17, Bianka, four, and Capri, two.

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