The internet’s heart was broken when it was revealed that legendary NBA player, Kobe Bryant, had died in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning. He was just forty-one-years-old. Nine people are now confirmed dead.
The star was known for being one of the greatest players of all time, with a career with the Lakers spanning 2 decades. Bryant’s daughter, Gianna was also on board the helicopter with her father and has died in the crash.
Tributes have poured in for the star, and now the NBA has released a statement.
The NBA star’s private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, TMZ sports confirms.
His father, Joe Bryant, was also a professional NBA player, and Kobe began playing basketball professionally straight out of high school.
By his second season, Kobe had been named an All-Star.
And on February 1st of 2010, it was announced Kobe was the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history.
Kobe also won 2 gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.
In 2018, Kobe won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for Dear Basketball.
But he stayed busy, focusing on many other career pursuits – alongside raising his family.
The pair were both just 17-years-old but quickly fell in love – becoming engaged after only six months of dating.
Their first daughter was then born in 2003.
They filed for divorce in 2011, but called off the breakup in 2013.
Their eldest was Natalia, who’s 17, followed by Gianna, followed by Bianka, aged 3, and Capri, aged just 7 months.
And the pair were stronger than ever.
As this photo of the Bryants in full family Halloween costume proves.
But tragically, yesterday morning, his private helicopter went down and a “fire broke out,” TMZ reports.
And there were 9 bodies found at the scene.
Reports have also confirmed that his wife, Vanessa Bryant, was not among those on board.
Kobe leaves behind his wife and their daughters – Natalia and Bianca, and their newborn, Capri.
TMZ Sports reports that Gianna, aged 13, has tragically died in the crash. It is thought that the father and daughter were on their way to the Mamba Academy for basketball practice, nearby Thousand Oaks.
She was born on May 1st of 2006, and was set to follow in Kobe’s footsteps.
In fact, from childhood, Gianna would participate in the team warm-ups.
He would regularly take her along to women’s basketball games – and Gianna played for the Mamba Academy ballers, where her father was the coach.
And many thought she was set for an illustrious basketball career.
The 2 often pictured giggling and smiling together, and it’s clear she was the apple of her father’s eye.
The clip, uploaded to Twitter, shows smoke emerging from the crash site as emergency services respond to the devastating incident.
As of yet, there’s still not much known.
All 9 of the passengers on board were confirmed to have died in the tragic crash.
It’s clear Kobe was an absolutely beloved presence in the celebrity world – and will be horribly missed.
The former POTUS called Kobe a “legend,” and the tragedy “unthinkable.”
The actress called Kobe an “extraordinary athlete” who was “always kind.”
The British actor claimed Kobe was a “G.”
The gymnast shared an adorable snap of Kobe.
She sent her love to his family during this “devastating” time.
Reese called Kobe an “extraordinary athlete, and a genuinely kind, wonderful man.”
The singer claimed her “heart was in pieces” over the news.
“There are not enough words to express my deepest sympathies to the Bryants and every family suffering from this tragedy,” wrote the tennis star.
In an emotional post, she wrote, “I cry just thinking about it.”
Ye shared a cute snap of the pair, saying “we love you brother.”
Leo called Kobe “a legend,” and claimed, “LA will never be the same.”
This heartbreaking video in tribute to Kobe was shared on Twitter.
Bieber shared this throwback snap of the two, saying “It can’t be. You always encouraged me mamba. Gave me some of the best quotes that we smile about to this day! Love you man!”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver shared this on Twitter.