Past and present players pay their respects.
To those who played against him, he was a tenacious competitor who won their respect. Many who came after him said he inspired them to pick up the game.
Tributes from other athletes rolled in on Sunday, as Bryant’s friends and rivals shared what he meant to them. Shaquille O’Neal, who won three titles with Bryant on the Lakers, said he would hug Bryant’s children “like they were my own.”
Michael Jordan said in a statement that he spoke to Bryant often and that he was “like a little brother to me.” Dwyane Wade, the former Miami Heat star, said on Instagram that Bryant “was who I chased” and that it was “one of the saddest days in my lifetime.”
Top athletes in other sports shared in the grief. Neymar Jr., the Brazilian soccer star, held up the number 24 with his fingers and pressed his hands together in a prayer motion after scoring a penalty kick for Paris Saint-Germain. Nick Kyrgios wore a yellow No. 8 Bryant jersey as he walked on court for his blockbuster match against the top-seeded Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open. Naomi Osaka thanked Bryant “for caring and checking up on me after my hard losses.”
Colin Kaepernick, the former N.F.L. quarterback whose kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racism and police brutality inspired a number of athletes to speak out publicly, sat with Bryant last August at the United States Open in the support box for Osaka. He said on Twitter that he would remember Bryant as a “basketball legend, a father & a man.”
Tiger Woods said that he heard cries of “do it for Mamba” from the gallery as he finished his final round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego, but he didn’t understand why. Then Woods’s caddie, Joe LaCava, broke the news of Bryant’s death as the two walked from the 18th green to hand in his card. Woods could be heard on the CBS broadcast replying, “Excuse me?” to LaCava before he stepped into the clubhouse.
“It’s a shocker to everyone and I’m unbelievably sad,” Woods said in an interview shortly after. “One of the more tragic days, I think, well, for me, the reality is just kind of setting in because I was just told probably about five minutes ago.
Woods, 44, and Bryant shared a friendship that dated back to their meteoric rise to the top of their respective sports during the mid-1990s and spanned adversities and scandals as both navigated fame, marriage, parenthood and injuries. When asked what he would remember about his friend, Woods said: “The fire. He burned so competitively hot. And desire to win. He brought it each and every night on both ends of the floor.”
Bryant is mourned in Italy, where he partly grew up.
The Italian Basketball Federation said on Monday that it would hold a moment of silence in every game this week for Bryant, who lived in Italy from ages 6 to 13 while his father played professional basketball there.
Bryant was fluent in Italian, and once said it would be a “dream” to play for the country, but in 2011, when an Italian team, Virtus Bologna, offered him a one-year contract during the N.B.A. lockout, the deal fell through, The Associated Press reported.
“It’s a small but heartfelt and deserved gesture to honor the life and memory of Kobe Bryant, an absolute champion who always had Italy in his heart,” the federation said in a statement. Bryant, the statement said, “was and will always be linked to our country.”
Games begin with shot clock tributes.
Teams across the N.B.A. started their Sunday night games by purposely running the shot clock out, taking 24- and 8-second violations in honor of the numbers Bryant wore.
In a number of games, the team winning the opening tip opted to dribble out the 24-second clock or keep the ball in the backcourt for an 8-second violation, followed by the other team returning the gesture. Bryant changed his jersey number to 24 from 8 in 2006.
Fans in the arenas rose for standing ovations, some chanting “Ko-be.” Players and coaches joined in the applause.
The tributes could also be seen in games between New York and Brooklyn, Indiana and Portland, New Orleans and Boston, San Antonio and Toronto, Atlanta and Washington, and Orlando and the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Grammy Awards paid tribute to Bryant.
At the arena where Bryant put his stamp on the Lakers and the N.B.A., his death cast a pall over a typically ebullient event: the Grammy Awards.
The show’s host, Alicia Keys, paid tribute to Bryant during the opening of the CBS broadcast, performing “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” with the R&B group that made the song popular, Boyz II Men.
“Here we are, together on music’s biggest night celebrating the artists that do it best, but to be honest with you we’re all feeling crazy sadness right now because earlier today Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero,” Keys said. “And we’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.”
A spotlight shined on Bryant’s retired No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys up in the rafters of the Staples Center.
The music industry’s top stars mourned Bryant leading up to the show, from Taylor Swift to Demi Lovato and John Legend.
“In Staples Arena, where Kobe created so many memories for all of us, preparing to pay tribute to another brilliant man we lost too soon, Nipsey Hussle,” John Legend wrote on Twitter. “Life can be so brutal and senseless sometimes.”