Dallas Mavericks to Retire No. 24 in Honor of Kobe Bryant | 22 Words

Yesterday, the world was left devastated by the heartbreaking news that legendary NBA player, Kobe Bryant, died in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning - he was just forty-one-years-old.

Bryant's daughter, Gianna, was also on board the helicopter with her father and died in the crash along with 7 other victims.

Families have been left distraught and friends and fans all around the world have been paying tribute to the lives lost.

The Dallas Mavericks have now announced they plan to retire No. 24 in honor of Kobe Bryant.

Keep scrolling to learn more...

Kobe Bryant was a legend in the world of basketball.

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The former pro basketball player won 5 NBA titles throughout his 2-decade career with the Los Angeles Lakers, cementing him as one of the greatest players of all time.

The sporting sensation joined the NBA straight out of high school...

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He was then elected by the Charlotte Hornets with the thirteenth overall pick of the 1996 NBA draft. Ultimately, he was then traded to the Lakers, in a move that truly kick-started his iconic career.

At age thirty-four, Kobe became the youngest player in NBA history to surpass the 30,000 point mark.

On April 13, 2016, Kobe played his final game where he wowed the sold-out crowd, scoring a huge sixty points - the sixth sixty-point game of his career.

Kobe is also made a name for himself off the court...

The basketball star won an Oscar for his short film, Dear Basketball, in 2018.

But there's no denying he was a family man at heart...

The star shared 4 children with his wife, Vanessa Laine Bryant, who wed in April 2001.

But yesterday, the world woke to tragic news...

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It had been confirmed that Kobe Bryant had tragically died in a helicopter crash yesterday morning. The NBA star's private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, TMZ sports confirmed.

Shortly after the news broke, The city of Calabasas released a statement:

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"With great sadness that we learn of the death of Kobe Bryant and four others in a helicopter crash." "The aircraft went down in a remote field off Las Virgenes around 10 am this morning. Nobody on the ground was hurt. However, we have now learned that 9 individuals were killed.

Kobe was known for opting to use a helicopter for travel...

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But tragically, his private helicopter went down and a "fire broke out," TMZ reported.

The cause of the crash is currently unknown...

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But Kurt Deetz, who has flown helicopters carrying Bryant in the past, told the Los Angeles Times that weather was a more likely cause of the accident than a mechanical issue.

This seems to be a likely explanation...

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"The likelihood of a catastrophic twin-engine failure on that aircraft - it just doesn't happen," he said.

This is utterly devastating news...

Kobe leaves behind his wife and their daughters - Natalia and Bianca, and their newborn, Capri.

Bryant's daughter, Gianna, was also on board the helicopter at the time of the crash.

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TMZ Sports reports that Gianna, aged thirteen, tragically died in the crash.

She was so young...

It is thought that the father and daughter were on their way to the Mamba Academy for basketball practice, nearby Thousand Oaks.

Like her dad, Gianna was a promising basketball star...

And she was set to follow in her Kobe's footsteps - on track to play in the female NBA.

Her death, alongside the 8 others, is a true loss.

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Tributes have been flooding in from all around the world, and the NBA community has been truly impacted by this devastating accident.

The NBA made a tribute to Kobe...

The New Orleans Pelicans and the Boston Celtics started their game last night by each taking twenty-four-second shot-clock violations in honor of Kobe Bryant.

And this isn't the only NBA tribute...

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It has just been announced that the Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has made the decision to retire forever the No. 24.

The NBA community has been left shaken and grief-stricken...

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"We are shocked and saddened by the devastating news of the passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna," Cuban said in a statement. "Kobe was an ambassador for our game, a decorated legend, and a global icon. Above all, he was a loving and dedicated father."

The No.24 will no longer be used by the Dallas Mavericks...

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“Kobe’s legacy transcends basketball, and our organization has decided that the number 24 will never again be worn by a Dallas Maverick," he went on to say.

The No.24 has been worn by 5 Mavericks players...

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And it was worn most notably by 3-time All-Star Mark Aguirre - It was last worn in 2015 by Richard Jefferson.

This isn't the first time that the Mavericks have retired a number...

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They have retired three numbers - Derek Harper (12), Brad Davis (15) and Rolando Blackman (22). Dirk Nowitzki – the only NBA player to spend more seasons with only one team than Bryant – will also inevitably have his No. 41 retired by the team.

A touching tribute to the incredible Kobe Bryant...

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Our thoughts and condolences go out to not only the Bryant family, but to all of the families of the 7 other victims of the accident.