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.

The son of Kobe's longtime friend and former teammate, Shaquille O'Neal, has shared his heartbreaking final text exchange hours before Kobe died.

Kobe Bryant has tragically died in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning.

via: Getty Images

The NBA star's private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, TMZ sports confirms.

Bryant was a true basketball star.

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His father, Joe Bryant, was also a professional NBA player, and Kobe began playing basketball professionally straight out of high school.

He was a true legend in the sport.

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By his second season, Kobe had been named an All-Star.

When he was just thirty-four years old, Kobe became the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points.

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And on February 1st of 2010, it was announced Kobe was the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history.

His achievements didn't end there.

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Kobe also won 2 gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.

He was a massive success off the court, too.

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In 2018, Kobe won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for Dear Basketball.

Kobe retired after the 2015-16 season.

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But he stayed busy, focusing on many other career pursuits - alongside raising his family.

In 1999, Kobe met Vanessa Laine.

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The pair were both just 17-years-old but quickly fell in love - becoming engaged after only six months of dating.

Vanessa and Kobe married in 2001.

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Their first daughter was then born in 2003.

Their relationship wasn't always smooth sailing.

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They filed for divorce in 2011, but called off the breakup in 2013.

They shared 4 daughters.

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Their eldest was Natalia, who's 17, followed by Gianna, followed by Bianka, aged 3, and Capri, aged just 7 months.

Kobe was deeply in love with his wife.

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And the pair were stronger than ever.

And he loved being a dad.

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As this photo of the Bryants in full family Halloween costume proves.

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

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

During a press conference, it was confirmed there were no survivors.

And there were 9 bodies found at the scene. Reports have also confirmed that his wife, Vanessa Bryant, was not among those on board.

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.

via: Getty Images

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.

Gianna was Kobe's second-eldest daughter.

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She was born on May 1st of 2006, and was set to follow in Kobe's footsteps.

She often accompanied Kobe to basketball games.

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In fact, from childhood, Gianna would participate in the team warm-ups.

Kobe supported his daughter's passion for the sport.

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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.

Gianna was reportedly a true talent.

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And many thought she was set for an illustrious basketball career.

Kobe and Gianna were also very close.

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The 2 often pictured giggling and smiling together, and it's clear she was the apple of her father's eye.

Heartbreaking footage has emerged showing the aftermath of the tragedy.

The clip, uploaded to Twitter, shows smoke emerging from the crash site as emergency services respond to the devastating incident.

The cause of the crash is currently under investigation.

As of yet, there's still not much known.

Alongside Kobe and Gianna, seven others have been confirmed to have died.

via: Twitter

All 9 of the passengers on board were confirmed to have died in the tragic crash.

And tributes have poured out for the victims.

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It's clear Kobe was an absolutely beloved presence in the celebrity world - and will be horribly missed.

Barack Obama

The former POTUS called Kobe a "legend," and the tragedy "unthinkable."

Whoopi Goldberg

The actress called Kobe an "extraordinary athlete" who was "always kind."

Idris Elba

The British actor claimed Kobe was a "G."

Simone Biles

The gymnast shared an adorable snap of Kobe.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

She sent her love to his family during this "devastating" time.

Reese Witherspoon

Reese called Kobe an "extraordinary athlete, and a genuinely kind, wonderful man."

Taylor Swift

The singer claimed her "heart was in pieces" over the news.

Novak Djokovic

"There are not enough words to express my deepest sympathies to the Bryants and every family suffering from this tragedy," wrote the tennis star.

Kim Kardashian

In an emotional post, she wrote, "I cry just thinking about it."

Kanye West

Ye shared a cute snap of the pair, saying "we love you brother."

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leo called Kobe "a legend," and claimed, "LA will never be the same."


This heartbreaking video in tribute to Kobe was shared on Twitter.

Justin Bieber

Bieber shared this throwback snap of the 2, 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!"

But not everyone was happy with Justin's condolences...

One user wrote: "there are a lot of me's in your tribute to him...remember 9 people perished. No one cares about the encouragement he gave YOU. IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU."

Amongst all the tributes, one of the last text messages Kobe sent has surfaced...

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Kobe sent a text to Shaquille O'Neal's son, Shareef, just hours before he died in the tragic crash.

Shaquille O'Neal was a former teammate and longtime friend of Kobe.

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And it seems Kobe messaged Shaquille's son, a twenty-year-old college basketball star,  just hours before his untimely death.

Kobe had messaged him at 8.19 am on the morning of the fatal crash.

He reached out by saying "You good fam?"

Shareef then replied:

"Yeah! Just been getting this work in trying to figure out my next move. How you been?" He never received a response.

Shareef posted a number of other tributes to both Kobe and his daughter, Gianna.

"GIGI. Love you cousin," said one. "You've really been there for me all 20 years of my life ... been there for me since I was born .. love you," read another.

Shareef shared the heartwrenching final conversation on Twitter.

via: Twitter

Literally this morning you reached out to me .... I love you forever unc. I love you," he wrote alongside the tweet. This is utterly devastating. R.I.P. to all the victims of this tragic accident.