Cleveland Cavaliers react to tragic death of Kobe Bryant

Bryant won 1997 NBA Slam Dunk contest, played last game in Cleveland in 2016

Daryl Ruiter
January 26, 2020 - 6:16 pm
Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Cavaliers issued a statement Sunday afternoon following the tragic death of former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant.

“We stand in disbelief and shock at the horribly sad news of the tragic passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna,” the team posted on its social media channels. “Emotions and sentiments are very heavy for all of us and we extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Vanessa and family. As one of the greatest to ever take the court, Kobe also had a very special, inspiring, iconic, global presence with the game of basketball and we will be forever grateful for his impact and miss him greatly.”

Bryant was killed along with his 13-year old daughter Gianna Maria and seven others in a helicopter crash Sunday morning outside of Los Angeles, California.

Bryant's untimely death rocked not just the NBA but the entire sports world and tributes filled social media, including from Cavs players.

An absolute honor.. Rest In Peace Mamba

A post shared by Larry Nance Jr (@larrydn7) on

Bryant won the Slam Dunk contest during All Star weekend held in Cleveland in February 1997.

His final game in Cleveland came on Feb. 10, 2016. Bryant scored nine of his 17 points in the fourth quarter of the Cavs’ 120-111 victory over the Lakers that saw the five-time NBA champion add six rebounds, three assists and a steal in 33 minutes to his stat line.