It seems the entire would froze in its tracks when the devastating news hit social media and television networks that Kobe Bryant and eight others, including his daughter Gianna, died in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles, Calif. back in January.

It’s difficult to put into words the impact Kobe had on not only the game of basketball but the sports world overall, and it’s still heartbreaking to think he’s no longer physically here with us.

His post-basketball playing career was just getting started. All of us were excited to watch this stage of his life unfold as he continued to be an ambassador for the game and encouraging others with the value of working hard to achieve goals. And yes, of course, always having the Mamba Mentality.

Yelling out “KOBE!” before shooting a ball of paper or trash into the garbage can will live on forever as will his impact on the game of basketball. My heart breaks for his beautiful family and all of those were close to Kobe personally.

One thing is for sure, his wife Vanessa and the girls will never be alone and have an army of support spanning across the globe. One of those supporters is none other than former teammate Pau Gasol. Vanessa and Pau both took to social media to share their special family time together recently.

Via SportsCenter on Twitter
Via Pau Gasol on Twitter

Enjoy your rest, Bean! We miss you down here.

NBA and sports icon Kobe Bryant would have celebrated his 42nd birthday today.