There are few names that are as big in the world of basketball as Kobe Bryant.

Now, that world is trying to recover from the shock of his untimely death in a helicopter crash in California. Bryant was 41.

Although he played his entire career for the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant's impact on the Boston Celtics cannot be overlooked.

Twice, his Lakers took on the Celtics in the NBA Finals, helping to re-ignite the famed rivalry between the two squads. The Celtics beat the Lakers in 2008, but Bryant and Los Angeles got their revenge in 2010.

Former Celtic Paul Pierce, who battled Bryant in those Finals, tweeted out his shock at the sudden death of Bryant.

Current Celtics star Jayson Tatum, who had personally worked out with Bryant, also posted an emotional reaction to the news online.

Former Celtics head coach and current Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who coached against Bryant in the Finals in 2008 and 2010, was emotional when speaking with reporters about Bryant ahead of a game against the Orlando Magic on Sunday.

"I just don't have a lot to say," he said. "The news is just devastating to everybody who knew know, he just, he means a lot to me, obviously. You know, he was such a great opponent, you know? It's what you want in sports. He had that DNA that very few athletes can ever have, you know, the Tiger Woods, the Michael Jordans."

Current Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, who spoke to reporters before the team's game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday, talked about how the modern Celtics look up to Bryant.

Kobe Bryant
On Dec. 30, 2015, Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant acknowledges the crowd as he leaves the court after their 112-104 win over the Boston Celtics in his final regular season NBA basketball game in Boston.
Winslow Townson AP, File

"He's one of the guys that probably broke the hearts of the Celtics more than anybody that's ever played," Stevens told reporters. "And in his last year, our guys were all sneaking around getting his shoe signed and everything else, just like everybody else, right? You know, I know a lot of our staff did too, you know? It's so sad."

In a statement, the Celtics organization reflected on what Bryant means to Boston.

"There are no words that can convey the heartbreak the entire Celtics organization feels in the wake of the terrible loss of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna," the statement read. "Kobe was one of the greatest talents and competitors to ever play basketball, and his love of the sport inspired countless fans and players around the world. Our fans were fortunate to watch him as he contributed many memorable chapters to the Celtics-Lakers rivalry, which he treasured. We extend our deepest condolences to Kobe’s family, fans, and the entire Lakers organization, as well as all of the victims and families affected by this horrible tragedy."
Both the Celtics and Pelican let the 24-second shot clock run out to start the game in honor of the last number Bryant wore-24.

Bryant, whose style of play was imitated on playgrounds and courts across the world and was know as the "Black Mamba," had an impact bigger than just his individual performances.

He was nominated for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield December and is a lock to be enshrined there.

"The basketball community is devastated by the unimaginable and untimely passing of basketball icon Kobe Bryant," the Hall wrote in a statement. "Named as a first time nominee for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in December, the Class of 2020 has been highly anticipated with Mr. Bryant as the potential headliner. At this time, we will have no further comment as we show respect for the Bryant family and all of those impacted."