NBA Legend Kobe Bryant Dies In Helicopter Crash
CALABASAS, Calif. — NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Gianna Maria Onore, 13, have died in a private helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday morning, according to TMZ sports.
He was 41.
According to reports, Bryant was traveling with his daughter along with other passengers to the Mamba Academy for a basketball practice when the crash happened. The Academy is nearby Thousand Oaks.
A fire broke out as a result. Nine people are confirmed to be dead.
Emergency crews responded after a helicopter crashed and sparked a small brush fire, authorities said.
Firefighters worked to douse flames that spread through about an acre (.40 hectares) of dry brush, Art Marrujo, a dispatch supervisor with the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.
The cause of the crash is under investigation. This is a developing story.
Bryant retired in 2016 as the third-leading scorer in NBA history, finishing two decades with the Lakers as a prolific scorer with a sublime all-around game and a relentless competitive ethic. He held that spot in the league scoring ranks until Saturday night, when the Lakers’ LeBron James passed him for third place during a game in Philadelphia, Bryant’s hometown.
Bryant had one of the greatest careers in recent NBA history and became one of the game’s most popular players as the face of the 16-time NBA champion Lakers franchise. He was the league MVP in 2008 and a two-time NBA scoring champion, and he earned 12 selections to the NBA’s All-Defensive teams.
He teamed with Shaquille O’Neal in a combustible partnership to lead the Lakers to NBA titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He later teamed with Pau Gasol to win two more titles in 2009 and 2010.
In addition, Bryant is an 18-time NBA All-Star who won five championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career spent entirely with the Los Angeles Lakers.
When Bryant was drafted in the 1996 NBA draft he was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th overall pick.