Grieve world, for we have lost a legend! TMZ Sports has confirmed the death of Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash in Calabasas Sunday, around 10 a.m. local time.
The basketball star, 41, was traveling with at least three people in his private helicopter when a fire broke out.
Despite the response of the emergency personnel, nobody on board survived, and The Los Angeles County Fire Department said that at least five people died in the crash, including his 13-year-old daughter, nicknamed Gigi, a rising star herself.
The father and daughter were recently seen attending NBA games together. It was reported that Vanessa Bryant was not on board.
Images from the scene revealed foggy conditions and smoke rising from a hillside.
According to eyewitnesses, the engine of the helicopter could be heard sputtering before it went down, and the cause of the crash is now being investigated.
Bryant used a helicopter to travel for years since he played for the Lakers. The idol of many generations and Gigi are survived by Vanessa, and Kobe’s three other daughters, Natalia, Bianca, and the newborn Capri, born in June 2019.
Bryant is known as one of the greatest NBA players of all time -- making 18 All-Star teams during his 20-year career with the Lakers. He was a first-round pick in the 1996 draft, won 5 NBA championships, 2 NBA Finals MVPs and he was the league MVP in ’08.
Kobe also won an Academy Award in 2018, for his short film “Dear Basketball.”
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He was born on August 23, 1978, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but spent most of his childhood in Italy, where his father played basketball. He joined the NBA in 1996, after graduating from high school.
His competitive attitude on the court was the reason for his nickname, “The Black Mamba”, and he is the second-highest-paid NBA player ever and has $323 million from his NBA career salary alone.
He retired in 2016, after setting another record for the organization in his final game.
He spent his first 10 seasons wearing No 8, and his final 10 in No 24, so the Lakers retired both of his jerseys, an honor no one else has ever received.
The NBA canceled games Sunday afternoon and evening.
The tragic end of the superstar rocked the world. Many are still in disbelief, and many started hoping and praying the news was not true.
Fans, rising stars, NBA legends, all started pouring out grief, shock, and love.
Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic tweeted: “NO PLEASE, I’m shaking this can’t be true please.”
Tristan Thompson said: “I hope this isn’t true man!!! Not Kobe.”
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love added: “Please no. Please God no. It can’t be true.”
Rest in peace!