Kobe Bryant, who played 20 years for the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and won five NBA championships, died Sunday in a helicopter crash.
Bryant died in the crash in Calabasas, California, while traveling with at least three other people in his private helicopter. Nobody on board survived. TMZ said his wife Vanessa was not among those on board.
The helicopter "burst into flames Sunday morning amid foggy conditions in the hills above Calabasas," sources told the Los Angeles Times. The crash occurred shortly before 10 a.m. PT.
Bryant had four daughters. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported, "Bryant was on his way to a travel basketball game with his daughter Gianna when the helicopter crashed. Those aboard the helicopter also included another player and parent.
Bryant was drafted straight out of high school in 1996. He won three straight NBA championships from 2000-2002 and two more in 2009 and 2010. He won the league's most valuable player award in 2008.
He retired in 2016 as the third-highest scorer in NBA history. Lakers forward LeBron James passed him on that list Saturday night.
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother #33644
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020
Bryant was 41 years old.
Several current and former NBA players have shared their love for Kobe and disbelief over the news:
“For those Kobe fans that are out there, that are feeling like I feel right now, just try and think of all the joy that he brought you.”
Brian Shaw reacts to the reported passing of Kobe Bryant. pic.twitter.com/WjAwmIHQle
— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 26, 2020
We can never forget how precious life is. How those who are special to you and never let them forget how deeply you love them
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) January 26, 2020
Man I don’t even know where to start I started playing ball because of KOBE after watching the 2010 finals. I had never watched ball before that and that finals was the turning point of my life. I WANTED TO BE LIKE KOBE. I’m so FREAKING SAD right now!!!!
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) January 26, 2020
Jeannine & I are absolutely shocked to hear of the loss of one of my favorite people & one of the best basketball minds in the history of the game! Our hearts & prayers to Vanessa & his girls. @kobebryant you were my biggest fan, but I was yours #RIPMAMBA @NBA @espn @SLAMonline pic.twitter.com/Ll0BD6VWgr
— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) January 26, 2020
This video of Amare finding out about Kobe while playing in Israel is goddamn heart wrenching pic.twitter.com/Wyk6TpRYqg
— Bobby Reagan (@BarstoolReags) January 26, 2020
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