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.
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 died in the crash. However, as of today, all 9 victims have been named.
The world of basketball, in particular, has been shaken by the news. But it seems the NBA how now come under fire.
This story is developing. Keep scrolling for everything we know so far.
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.
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.
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.
The basketball star won an Oscar for his short film, “Dear Basketball,” in 2018.
The star shared 4 children with his wife, Vanessa Laine Bryant. The pair wed in April 2001.
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.
“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 10am this morning. Nobody on the ground was hurt.
However, we have now learnt that 9 individuals were killed, not 4.
But tragically, 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 thirteen, 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.
And she was set to follow in her father’s footsteps – on track to play in the female NBA.
The clip, uploaded to Twitter, shows smoke emerging from the crash site as emergency services respond to the devastating incident.
While police have not officially released the names of the people on board, family members of the victims have confirmed their loved ones’ deaths.
Alyssa Altobelli played on the same team as Kobe’s teenage daughter.
John was an Orange Coast College baseball coach.
Alyssa’s brother, Tony Altobelli, confirmed the devasting news.
“My kids and I are devastated,” he wrote. “We lost our beautiful wife and mom today in a helicopter crash. Please respect our privacy. Thank you for all the well wishes they mean so much.”
Todd Schmidt, school principal at Harbor View Elementary, paid tribute to the pair, describing them as “two gorgeous human beings.”
Ara was the final victim to be named.
Celebrities all over the world have been reacting to the heartbreaking news.
And Twitter is filled with tributes to the star.
Michael Jordan paid tribute to his “little brother” in the wake of his sudden passing.
Jordan, who is widely known as the greatest basketball player of all time, penned a heartbreaking tribute to Kobe.
“I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe’s and Gianna’s passing. Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling. I loved Kobe – he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much.
“He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force. Kobe was also an amazing dad who loved his family deeply – and took great pride in his daughter’s love for the game of basketball,” he continued.
“Yvette joins me in sending my deepest condolences to Vanessa, the Lakers organization and basketball fans around the world.”
But it seems that the NBA has come under fire for opting to go ahead with its scheduled games.
And they were arguably not in a fit state to be going out on the court.
Someone tweeted a clip of the player along with the caption: “Tyson Chandler clearly heartbroken. Not sure how these players are able to focus on the game.”
In a pre-game interview, the fifty-eight-year-old can be seen choking up when talking about having to tell the team about Bryant’s passing.
We’ll bring you more details as the story develops.
Our thoughts are with Kobe and Gianna’s family as well as all of the families of the 7 other victims.