The sports world is in shock.
Former Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant and his 13 year old daughter, Gianna, were two of nine killed when the helicopter they were in crashed on Sunday morning. They were on their way to a travel basketball game when the crash happened.
Initial reports had suggested only five had been killed, but the Los Angeles County Fire Department said in a Sunday afternoon news conference that there were nine onboard the helicopter and that all perished. The identities of the others who were killed have not been made public.
Bryant was the NBA’s 3rd all-time leading scorer until Lebron James passed him on Saturday.
It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Kobe Bryant and four others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas. The aircraft went down in a remote field off Las Virgenes around 10:00 this morning. Nobody on the ground was hurt. The FAA and NTSB are investigating.
— City of Calabasas (@CityofCalabasas) January 26, 2020
The 18–time All-Star and 11-time All-NBA first Team led the Lakers to five NBA championships and scored 33,643 points in his 20-year NBA career. He retired from the Lakers after the 2015-16 season after spending his entire career with the franchise.
He was 41 years old.
The Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs played in San Antonio mere hours after it had been confirmed Bryant had been killed. With heavy hearts, the two teams paid tribute to Kobe at the start of the game.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 26, 2020