Legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash. The 41-year-old former LA Lakers player was killed Sunday morning when his helicopter went down in Calabasas, California. The Los Angeles County Sheriff confirmed four other people on board the aircraft also died. First responders put out the flames of the crash site, the sheriff’s department said, posting a picture of a fire truck and smoke emerging from the brush in a ravine.
Bryant was one of the most successful basketball players of all time having won five NBA championships, 18 All-Star titles and scoring 33,643 points before retiring in 2016. He initially won the Pennsylvania state championship in 1996 when he was at high school. Bryant was then picked by the Charlotte Hornets before being traded to the Lakers where he spent all his career. He stood third in the all-time NBA points list until Saturday night, when current Laker LeBron James pushed him down to fourth place. Bryant had one of the greatest careers in recent NBA history and became one of the game’s most popular players as the face of the 16-time NBA champion Lakers franchise. He was the league MVP in 2008 and a two-time NBA scoring champion, and he earned 12 selections to the NBA’s All-Defensive teams. He teamed with Shaquille O’Neal in a partnership to lead the Lakers to NBA titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He later teamed with Pau Gasol to win two more titles in 2009 and 2010. The Lakers retired both of Bryant’s shirt numbers – eight and 24 – in a ceremony in December 2017, when then franchise president Magic Johnson said: ‘We’re here to celebrate the greatest who has ever worn the purple and gold’.
In 2003, Bryant was charged with attacking a 19-year-old employee at a Colorado resort. He had said the two had consensual sex. Prosecutors later dropped the felony sexual assault charge against Bryant at the request of the accuser.
Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, have four daughters: Gianna, Natalia, Bianca and Capri, who was born in June 2019.
(Text, courtesy of metro.co.uk)