On Sunday afternoon, the NBA world was rocked by the devastating news that Los Angeles Lakers legend, Kobe Bryant, 41, had died in a helicopter crash along with his daughter, Gianna, 13.
In the immediate aftermath of his death, tributes came pouring in for Bryant. Countless Boston-based athletes took to social media to honor Bryant. The Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs took consecutive 24-second violations to start their respective games, as Kobe's jersey number was 24 for the second half of his career.
And ahead of their game against the New Orleans Pelicans, the Boston Celtics took time to release a statement about Bryant's untimely passing.
Here's a look at the full statement from the team:
There are no words that can convey the heartbreak the entire Celtics organization feels in the wake of the terrible loss of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. Kobe was one of the greatest talents and competitors to ever play basketball, and his love of the sport inspired countless fans and players around the world. Our fans were fortunate to watch him as he contributed many memorable chapters to the Celtics-Lakers rivalry, which he treasured. We extend our deepest condolences to Kobe’s family, fans, and the entire Lakers organization, as well as all of the victims and families affected by this horrible tragedy.
This is a kind gesture by the Celtics ahead of a trying time for the Bryant family. We'll soon see if the team has any more tributes in store before and during their game against the Pelicans.
Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Pelicans, which begins Sunday at 5:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, followed by tip-off at 6 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.