Willie Mays puts out statement to honor Kobe Bryant after tragic death

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Across the NBA on Sunday, teams honored Kobe Bryant by letting the 24-second shot clock run out. A day later, baseball's most famous No. 24 honored the Lakers legend who has his No. 24 hanging in the rafters at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. 

The Giants put out a statement from Willie Mays on Monday afternoon in which the Hall-of-Famer said Bryant's passing Sunday "hit me hard" and wrote, "What a gift to have known him, even just a little."

The 41-year-old Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others were killed Sunday morning in a helicopter crash in Calabasas.

[RELATED: Draymond issues emotional message regarding Kobe's death]

As the sports world mourned Sunday, several current and former Giants sent out tributes to Bryant, including Brandon Crawford, Barry Bonds and Kevin Pillar, who grew up rooting for the Lakers. 

Bryant was survived by his parents, wife Vanessa and their daughters Natalia, Bianka and Capri. 

Willie Mays puts out statement to honor Kobe Bryant after tragic death originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area