Retired NBA basketball star Kobe Bryant, 41, was among nine people killed in a helicopter crash this morning in Calabasas, California. The NY Times is following the story.
Bryant wrote, starred in, and executive produced the animated short Dear Basketball (pictured at top), which won the Oscar and Annie for best animated short in 2018. Bryant was the first African-American filmmaker to win an Oscar in the animated short category.
At the time of his death, Bryant was developing other animation projects through his production company, Granity Studios.
Glen Keane, who directed Dear Basketball, released a statement this afternoon:
— Glen Keane (@GlenKeanePrd) January 26, 2020
Members of the animation community have joined countless others in responding to Bryant’s death. Here is what people are saying:
Speechless. So tragic. RIP and thanks to one of the most incredible athletes I’ve ever seen…my heart goes out to his family. #KobeBryant
— Peter Ramsey (@pramsey342) January 26, 2020
— Jorge R. Gutierrez (@mexopolis) January 26, 2020
Devastating news. Got the opportunity to meet and work with Kobe and have some great conversations. My heart breaks for his family. Rest in Peace my brother. #ripkobe
— Bruce W. Smith (@BruceAlmighteee) January 26, 2020
Gutted to hear about Kobe’s helicopter crash. Just terrible. I’m not a sports fan, but I do know that Kobe was incredibly nice to me, and was like a kid in a candy store at the Oscars when his film won. Love to his family. RIP. pic.twitter.com/i9c4QHXKls
— Lee Unkrich (@leeunkrich) January 26, 2020
— Lee Unkrich (@leeunkrich) January 27, 2020
But there was only one of him for a reason. One amazing Kobe Byrant. My heart aches on this tragic morning, for his family and for the lives he’s touched and inspired. #ThanksKobe
— Barb Kalustian (@bobbinskydraws) January 26, 2020
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) January 26, 2020
Stunned by the Kobe news. I met with him a couple times in 2017 about his animation projects. He had big plans, loved animation and storytelling. Extremely focused, energetic, imaginative and engaged. Turning his Wizenard sports-world book into films was his next dream. So sad.
— Clay Kaytis (@ClayKaytis) January 26, 2020
I can only echo Clay’s thoughts about Kobe and his love and deep knowledge of animation. I always remember his visit to the studio and how giddy and thrilled to be there he was.🙏🏾🖤 https://t.co/yMgfRghHIB
— marlon west (@marlonw) January 26, 2020
My heart hurts learning the news along with the world of Kobe. I admired this short so much and was truly looking forward to what he had in store for the medium. The stories he wanted to tell
2018 Oscar winner animation short film | dear basketballhttps://t.co/CQrfPIi0u1
— Monique (@SimplyRobotix) January 26, 2020
— Jamaal Bradley (@JamaalBradley) January 26, 2020
I thought “does Kobe think he knows me? Why is he staring me down?” I passed & he went back to laughing w/ his kids. Then I realized I was wearing a Clippers t-shirt.
My heart breaks for the loving family.
— Christopher Miller (@chrizmillr) January 26, 2020
— Rob Edwards (@IamRobEdwards) January 26, 2020
— Mike Yosh (@Mike_Yosh) January 26, 2020
#KobeBryant had real charisma, savvy, intelligence and a killer instinct. He ‘took no prisoners’ in basketball & demanded excellence from everyone he associated with. We are all lucky to have seen his greatness. Thank you Kobe for all that you’ve done #Lakers #Legend #LosAngeles
— Louie del Carmen (@LouiedelCarmen) January 26, 2020
This is a good reminder to work hard, take risks, and learn from each day you have to accomplish things you are passionate about, and to never forget the love for what you do that inspired you from the beginning. RIP Kobe.
— Justin K Thompson (@shinypinkbottle) January 26, 2020
View this post on Instagram
@kobebryant my hands are shaking typing this. i could barely get this sketch out but i don’t know what else to do- i am beyond devastated. you changed the game on and off the court – you will forever be one of the greatest influences/inspirations in my life. i will forever be grateful for you. legends never die. my heart and sympathies go out to your wife & family😢💔 #rip #kobebryant #kobe #goat #RIPkobe #RIPgianna