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.
U.S. & World
"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.
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.