Kobe Bryant, one of basketball’s greatest players, died in a helicopter crash this morning (Jan. 26), according to multiple sources. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said none of the five people aboard survived the accident about 30 minutes outside Los Angeles in Calabasas, California. His daughter, 13-year-old Gianna Bryant, also died in the crash.
TMZ, which first reported the crash, noted Bryant had often commuted from Newport Beach to the Staples Center in Los Angeles in his Sikorsky S-76 helicopter. On Sunday, the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed an “S-76 helicopter crashed this morning under unknown circumstances,” referring to local authorities for more specifics. A Calabasas city councilman confirmed Bryant’s death to NBC News.
The news rocked the sports world today as athletes publicly mourned the loss of one of basketball’s star athletes.
Bryant, a former Los Angeles Laker who retired from the game in 2016, was the youngest play to enter the NBA in 1996. He went on to win five NBA championships and is the NBA’s fourth all-time scorer, having put up 33,643 points, a record surpassed by fellow Laker LeBron James a few days earlier. Bryant tweeted his congratulations yesterday:
Bryant is survived by three daughters and his wife Vanessa Laine Bryant, whom he married in 2001.