91ºF

Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta reacts to the loss of NBA superstar Kobe Bryant

HOUSTON – The passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant has brought with it many tributes from those all across the NBA, the nation and the world.

Bryant, 41, who played 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, died in a helicopter crash just outside of Los Angeles Sunday morning. In all, nine people died, including Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna.

KPRC 2 caught up with those that knew Bryant well in Houston, including Rockets legend and broadcaster Calvin Murphy, UH head coach Kelvin Sampson and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta.

Sports director Randy McIlvoy spoke with Fertitta about the impact of losing Bryant to the entire sports world.

“It’s like all of us you hoped it’s fake news," Fertitta said. "The man was 41 with four young daughters and a wonderful life in front of him. It’s the other eight people that died on the helicopter also. It’s a horrible, tragic event. (A) sad day for the NBA and for all these families. He will be missed. He was going to be an ambassador for the rest of his life.”