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Retired basketball legend Kobe Bryant, 41, was killed in a helicopter crash in the Los Angeles area on Sunday along with four other people. Among the passengers on the aircraft was Bryant’s 13 year-old daughter, Gianna, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“Kobe was traveling with at least 3 other people in his private helicopter when it went down,” TMZ reported. “A fire broke out. Emergency personnel responded, but nobody on board survived. 5 people are confirmed dead. We’re told Vanessa Bryant was not among those on board.”

Eyewitnesses told TMZ that they heard the helicopters’ engine sputtering immediately before it crashed.

“Kobe’s daughter Gianna Maria Onore — aka GiGi — was also on board the helicopter and died in the crash … reps for Kobe tell TMZ Sports. She was 13,” TMZ added. “We’re told they were on their way to the Mamba Academy for a basketball practice when the crash occurred. The Academy is in nearby Thousand Oaks.”

ABC News appeared to falsely claimed that Bryant’s four daughters were on board the flight.

ABC News reporter Lindsey Mastis noted: “Our ABC affiliate in Los Angeles is reporting that Kobe Bryant is survived by his wife and four children, so it does not appear they were on board the helicopter.”

Mastis added: “Here are images from the Sheriff’s Department in Los Angeles showing the scene. They later confirmed all five people on board the helicopter died. Our ABC affiliate in LA found out Kobe Bryant was one of the people killed.”

“Kobe has famously used a helicopter to travel for years — dating back to when he played for the Lakers. He was known for commuting from Newport Beach, CA to the STAPLES Center in DTLA in his Sikorsky S-76 chopper,” TMZ added.

FOX Sports confirmed the news, writing: “Sources confirm to FOX Sports that NBA legend Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, CA. Rest in Peace, Kobe.”

In a report on his death, ESPN highlighted Bryant’s NBA career:

A 6-foot, 6-inch small forward with the ability to swing up front and play point or shooting guard, Bryant entered the NBA straight out of high school. In 1996, he became the youngest player in NBA history.

He won five NBA titles in his time with the Lakers, as well as two Olympic gold medals playing for the United States. Now fourth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, with 33,643 points, Bryant won two NBA Finals MVP awards and one NBA regular-season MVP nod in 2008.

A native of Philadelphia, Bryant was selected No. 13 overall in 1996 by the Charlotte Hornets before being traded to the Lakers. He wore both No. 8 and 24 with the Lakers, both of which were retired by the franchise.

6:43 p.m. Update:

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says nine people were killed in the helicopter crash.

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6 Comments
  • Laurie says:

    Very very sad news. May they RIP

  • Trump 2020 says:

    And people morn a statutory rapist of a 17 year old girl working as a stripper. Knocks her up, pays off the angry parents and agrees to marry her.
    Then rapes a hotel worker. His wife divorces him after it is blasted all over national television.
    But no one remembers that!
    Maybe if he was white, he would not even be mentioned.

    • SandyT says:

      Your “facts” aren’t quite true…
      He and his wife met in 1999, when she was 17 and he was 21, married in 2001 after dating for almost 2 years, and were still married when he was killed in the crash. Their first child was born in 2003, the first of 4 daughters. His wife did file for divorce in 2013 but dropped the divorce petition and that was years after the rape allegation in 2003 by the 19 year old hotel employee. He was a flawed human, as are all of us, but it seems like he had straightened out his life. Throw those stones, IF you have nothing in your life to be ashamed of.

      • Trump 2020 says:

        You just gave more detail to the facts I gave… So what is your justification for the double standard…
        Or is it just Trumps fault

  • Boyd says:

    That is so sad. So much trust is in these machines and the pilots who fly them, they often forget just how dangerous they can be. But it goes the same for cars. I have to remember that my family is trusting me (or if my wife is driving, trusting her) to bring us safely to where we are going, and my daughters life is in my hands. God bless the surviving family through this tragedy.

  • Stephen Russell says:

    2 Honor Kobe:
    Sports Center
    Stadium
    Basketball Camp
    Sports Camp
    Hwy, Blvd, Rd, Ave, St, Court, Circle
    Sports Camp
    Fine Arts Center?? If collected arts?
    Luxury boxes for NBA Games.
    Rename Lakers Hqs for Kobe IE Kobe/Lakers Hqs?
    Parkspace

  • CF
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