On Sunday, January 26, 2020, it was reported that former NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant (41) was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
What We Know:
- According to reports, Bryant was aboard his private helicopter with four other people when a fire broke out and the helicopter went down. Witnesses who were biking in the area said they could hear the engine of the helicopter sputtering before it crashed. Emergency personnel quickly responded but unfortunately, there were no survivors.
- There has been confirmation that his wife, Vanessa Bryant, was not on board. Adrain Wojnarowski with ESPN, has advised that Bryant’s 13-year-old daugher Gianna was one of the passengers and has also passed away. They were heading to a travel basketball game with another player and parent who have not been identified at this time.
- This news is a shock to everyone, especially since Bryant has been known to travel by helicopter for years. Even when he played with the Lakers, he was known for commuting from Newport Beach, CA to the Staples Center in his Sirkorsky S-76 heicopter.
- The tragic death of this NBA legend comes just one day after Lebron James surpassed Bryant for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Just last night, Bryant was actively posting on Twitter congratulating James for his accomplishment. In honor of Bryant, James even had his sneakers inscribed with “Mamba 4 Life” and “8/24 KB” in gold marker before the game.
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020
- Bryant entered the NBA right after high school in 1996 as the 13th draft pick and became the youngest player in NBA history. He went on to win five NBA titles with the Lakers and two Olympic gold medals. Bryant also won 2 NBA Finals MVP awards and one NBA regular season MVP nod in 2008. After James’ most recent accompishment, Bryant is now fourth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with 33,643 points.
- Bryant played his last game with the NBA on April 13, 2016 against the Utah Jazz and scored 60 points. Both of his jersey numbers, 8 and 24, were retired by the NBA in 2017 making him the only player to have that honor.
The cause of the crash is currently being investigated. We will continue to follow this story as new developments arise.