NBA legend Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash
Variety reported Sunday that 41-year-old legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. According to the LA Times, at least nine people died in the crash, including Bryant's 13-year old daughter, Gianna.
Bryant is considered to be among the best basketball players of all time, racking up five NBA championships and making 18 All-Star teams during his 20 years with the Lakers.
Bryant retired from the NBA in 2016. In 2018, he authored a book titled
The Mamba Mentality: How I Play, and won an Oscar for his 2017 short film Dear Basketball, which was based upon a poem he wrote for The Players Tribune in 2015 announcing his retirement.
"From the moment/I started rolling my dad’s tube socks/And shooting imaginary/Game-winning shots/In the Great Western Forum/I knew one thing was real: I fell in love with you," wrote Bryant. "A love so deep I gave you my all/From my mind & body/To my spirit & soul."
Just hours before Bryant’s death, current Lakers superstar LeBron James surpassed his scoring record of 33,643 points.
"I’m happy just to be in any conversation with Kobe Bryant, one of the all-time greatest basketball players to ever play, one of the all-time greatest Lakers," James said after the game.
The final tweet posted to Bryant’s Twitter account congratulated the younger player.
“Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames,” wrote Bryant. “Much respect my brother."