Retired Los Angeles Lakers player and NBA five-time champion Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter accident in Calabasas early Sunday.
A report by TMZ Sports confirmed Bryant and his daughter Gianna were flying to the Mamba Academy when the vehicle’s engines reportedly sputtered and crashed.
Officials stated there were no survivors among the pilot and eight others on board the helicopter.
Fans around the world posted their grievances online, including the video game community and NBA 2K who thanked Bryant for his impact “on and off the court.”
Bryant has appeared in every NBA 2K installment since its debut in the first 1999 game for the Sega Dreamcast.
Players were able to control him through his 20-year tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers and has been a part of the series’ custom team management options.
In 2009, Bryant was voted-in by fans to be the game’s cover athlete for NBA 2K10. He made another appearance on the Legend Edition for NBA 2K17, which recognized his contributions in the NBA during and after his career.
He continued to have a larger presence for players in later games and lent his voice as a guest commentator for players during their games in NBA 2K18 and NBA 2K19.
EA Sports stated they were “deeply saddened” by Bryant’s death in a tweet.
Notable 2K game community members including Ronnie Singh told fans to live life to its fullest.
He also expressed a shared influence Bryant had on players who grew up loving basketball.
According to Forbes, recent players accessing 2K20 were greeted with a message in tribute to Bryant.
Players in the game’s online Neighborhood hub also donned Lakers jerseys and paid their respects to Bryant.
Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa Bryant, and daughters Natalia, Bianca and Capri.