Jack Nicholson mourns Kobe Bryant

Jack Nicholson is devastated by the death of Kobe Bryant.

The 82-year-old actor is a huge Los Angeles Lakers fan and admitted the tragic passing of the basketball icon - who died in a helicopter crash along with his daughter Gianna, 13, and seven other passengers on Sunday (26.01.20) has left a "big hole in the wall".

Speaking to CBS Los Angeles, he said: "My reaction is the same as almost all of LA.

"Where we think everything's solid, there's a big hole in the wall. I was used to seeing and talking to Kobe that... it kills you. It's just a terrible event."

The 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' actor recalled his first meeting with Kobe at New York's Madison Square Garden.

He joked: "I teased him the first time we met. I offered him a basketball and asked him if he wanted me to autograph it for him.

"He looked at me like I was crazy."

The Oscar-winning star was a regular fixture courtside throughout Kobe's 20-year stint with LA Lakers and he admitted he'll "miss" the late sportsman forever.

He said: "I sat right behind his jump shot on the left-hand side. I can see him going up and I can tell the first instant if it's going in.

"We'll think of him all the time and we'll miss him. He was just one of those touched people."

A number of other stars have also paid tribute to Kobe - who had three other daughters with his wife Vanessa - on social media.

Leonardo DiCaprio posted on Twitter: "Kobe was truly larger than life, a legend. May he and all those who lost their lives today rest in peace. Love and condolences to his family. LA will never be the same."

Justin Bieber shared a throwback photo of himself with the sportsman and wrote on Instagram: "It can't be. You always encouraged me mamba. Gave me me some of the best quotes that we smile about to this day.! Love you man!"

Kim Kardashian West posted: "My heart is so heavy. No one should ever experience what the families involved are going through. This has affected us all so much but I cannot begin to imagine what Vanessa is feeling losing her husband and her baby girl. I cry just thinking about it."

And her husband, Kanye West, wrote: "Kobe, We love you brother. We're praying for your family and appreciate the life you've lived and all the inspiration you gave."