Basketball icon Kobe Bryant died Sunday in a helicopter crash in Southern California. He was 41.
A statement from Michael Jordan regarding Kobe Bryant's death. pic.twitter.com/8fNZcQQ3pF
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) January 26, 2020
According to the Los Angeles Times, the crash occurred shortly before 10 a.m. in foggy conditions in the hills above Calabasas, located approximately 30 miles west of Los Angeles. All five people on board the plane were killed.
A fire broke out and emergency personnel responded but found no survivors, according to TMZ. Among the dead was Bryant’s daughter, Gianna.
TMZ reported that eyewitnesses to the crash heard the helicopter sputtering before it went down.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement today regarding the passing of Kobe Bryant pic.twitter.com/P88GwIwmYV
— NBA (@NBA) January 26, 2020
After high school, Bryant was the 13th overall pick of the 1996 draft, selected by Charlotte, which traded his rights to the Lakers in exchange for center Vlade Divac. He spent the next 20 seasons in Los Angeles before retiring following 2015-16 season.
Bryant won five NBA championships for the Lakers and amassed a number of accolades. He was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2007-08, a 15-time All-NBA selection, 18-time All-Star and 12-time All-Defensive team member. He twice was named the MVP of the NBA Finals and was the All-Star Game MVP four times.
Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 26, 2020
Bryant played in 1,346 career games and retired as the third-leading scorer in NBA history with 33,643 points. On Saturday night, Lakers star LeBron James passed him on the all-time list when he scored 29 points against the Philadelphia 76ers. Bryant stands behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and James on the all-time list.
He won Olympic gold medals for the United States in 2008 and 2012 and among the candidates this year for induction into the Naismith Baskeball Hall of Fame.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)