Kobe Bryant, considered to be one of the greatest NBA players of all time, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria, both died in a helicopter crash today. Kobe was 41 years old and retired after the 2016 season.
They were reportedly on the way to the Mamba Academy for a basketball practice when the crash occurred.
There were at least 8 other people in his private helicopter when the crash occurred. Emergency personnel responded to the helicopter crash, but nobody on board survived. 9 people are confirmed dead. The coroner’s office is still investigation the crash.
There have been reports that the helicopter’s engine sputtering before it went down and that flames and smoke were billowing above the crash scene from the wreck. The official cause of the crash is currently under investigation.
Bryant frequently used a helicopter to travel around California, including the duration of his time with the Lakers.
Bryant was a first-round draft pick out of high school in 1996. He was the 13th pick by the Charlotte Hornets, who later traded him to the Lakers. Bryant stayed with the Lakers for two decades, winning five championships and making 18 all-star games. He won two NBA Finals MVPs and was the league MVP in 2008.