The Hush Post| 9:08 am|one-minute-read|
Kobe Bryant, one of the NBA’s all-time great whose international stardom transcended basketball, was killed at age 41 on Sunday. He died in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles. Also among dead were his 13-year-old daughter and seven others on board, officials said.
Bryant rocketed to fame as an 18-year-old rookie and played 20 years for the Los Angeles Lakers – 18 of them as an all-star – winning five NBA championships. His death sent shockwaves through the NBA.
The cause of the crash is not known. An investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board could take months.
Kobe often travelled by chopper to avoid traffic
Bryant was known since his playing days to travel frequently by helicopter to avoid the Los Angeles area’s notorious traffic.
His Sikorsky S-76 chopper went down in foggy weather shortly before 10 am. (1800 GMT) in hilly terrain just outside Calabasas, California. This is about 40 miles (65 km) northwest of central Los Angeles.
“There were no survivors,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told a news conference. He added the flight manifest showed nine people on board. He declined to identify them.
Kobe’s death was confirmed by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. His daughter Gianna too was among those killed.
Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 26, 2020
“He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary,” Silver said, as tributes poured in from players, politicians and entertainers.
Among the others on board, in addition to the pilot, were a teammate from Bryant’s daughter’s basketball squad and a parent of the teammate, NBC News reported.
“I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe’s and Gianna’s passing. Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling,” said Michael Jordan, who won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls.
“Kobe was an amazing dad who loved his family deeply – and took great pride in his daughter’s love for the game of basketball,” Jordan said.