Lakers

Lakers Release Statement, Say They’re ‘Devastated’ About Kobe Bryant’s Death

"Words cannot express what Kobe means to the Los Angeles Lakers, our fans, and our city."

Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers continued to incrementally break their silence following the death of Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel spoke to reporters earlier in the day following a team practice, becoming the first team representative to speak following the tragic crash.

Wednesday night, on Twitter, the team released its first statement:

"We are devastated and have been forever changed by the sudden loss of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. We send our love to Vanessa, the Bryant family, and to the families of the other passengers.

"Words cannot express what Kobe means to the Los Angeles Lakers, our fans, and our city. More than a basketball player, he was a beloved father, husband, and teammate. Their love and light will remain in our hearts forever."

Then, the team asked fans to donate to a fund set up to help all the families affected by the tragedy:

"The Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to support the families affected by this tragedy. To help, please visit MambaOnThree.org. For those who are inspired to continue Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org"

Earlier in the day, Vanessa Bryant changed her Instagram avatar to a photo of her late husband and daughter and shared some her pain in a post that mourned the loss of all the victims.

View this post on Instagram

My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on

The Lakers and Clippers postponed their game, which was scheduled to be played on Tuesday. The Lakers are due to host the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night at Staples Center.

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