Kobe Bryant, the former Los Angeles Laker and five-time NBA champion died Sunday January 26 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas California. He was 41.
Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others were also killed in the crash, according to the report.
The father and daughter were reportedly on their way to a travel basketball game when the helicopter crashed, according to ESPN.
Sources: Kobe 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.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 26, 2020
Police received a call for a downed helicopter in Calabasas at 10:01 a.m. local time. People who were out mountain biking in the area reported the accident, , according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
“Unfortunately there were no survivors,” Los Angeles County Fire Captain Tony Imbrenda told reporters Sunday.
On Saturday night, Bryant tweeted his congratulations to LeBron James after he surpassed Bryant on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother ?? #33644
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020
In 2010, Bryant told GQ that he would take a private helicopter from his Orange County home to every home game he played at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.
Bryant was one of the most influential basketball players of the late 1990s and early 21st century, racking up astronomical scoring totals while also playing elite defense over a 20-season career that ended in 2016.
Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna
He was the son of long-time professional basketball player Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, who played for the Philadelphia 76ers, San Diego Clippers and Houston Rockets. The elder Bryant also had a lengthy career playing in Italy.
Kobe Bryant attended Lower Merion High School just outside of Philadelphia and was drafted directly into the league. He took R&B superstar Brandy Norwood to his 1996 prom.
He played in 15 All-Star Games, was MVP of four of those games, was the 2008 league MVP and was twice the NBA Finals MVP.
Bryant was accused in 2003 of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old hotel employee in Colorado, where he was staying for surgery. He admitted to having sex with the woman, but insisted it was consensual.
The NBA star was charged with rape, but the case was dropped after the accuser declined to help prosecutors. She sued Bryant and they settled out of court, Nbc News reported.
NBA athletes, officials and fans mourned the loss of Bryant, who was considered one of basketball’s greatest players of all time.
“May your memory be a blessing,” Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tweeted.
Retired forward Paul Pierce expressed his disbelief on Twitter, saying, “This is not real right now.”
Bryant’s former teammate and friend Shaquille O’Neal said he was sick over the news and sent condolences to all the victim’s families.
“There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant,” he said in a tweet. “I love u and u will be missed.”
President Donald Trump tweeted about the crash and said this crash was “terrible news.”
Reports are that basketball great Kobe Bryant and three others have been killed in a helicopter crash in California. That is terrible news!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2020
Former president Barack Obama expressed his condolences to Bryant’s family and the athletes’s wife Vanessa.
“Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act,” Obama said on behalf of himself and his wife Michelle. “To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents.”
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
Here’s how his former teammates, celebrities, and NBA stars are reacting to the legendary basketball player’s death, as well as other celebrities are responding.
There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW pic.twitter.com/pigHywq3c1
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) January 26, 2020
Most people will remember Kobe as the magnificent athlete who inspired a whole generation of basketball players. But I will always remember him as a man who was much more than an athlete. pic.twitter.com/9EZuwk8wrV
— Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (@kaj33) January 26, 2020