Kobe Bryant Dies in Helicopter Crash
The worlds of sports and popular culture have been rocked by a shocking story, as TMZ confirms that NBA legend Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday morning. (Variety has also confirmed the stunning news.) The Los Angeles Lakers great was only 41.
More details from TMZ:
Kobe was traveling with at least 3 other people in his private helicopter when it went down. A fire broke out. Emergency personnel responded, but nobody on board survived. 5 people are confirmed dead. We're told Vanessa Bryant was not among those on board. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
TMZ also reports Bryant’s daughter Gianna Maria was on the helicopter when it crashed; they were reportedly “on their way to the Mamba Academy for a basketball practice when the crash occurred.” She was 13 years old.
In addition to Bryant’s prolific accomplishments on the court — he won five NBA championships was third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list until LeBron James passed him earlier this week — he was also an Oscar winner. His 2017 short film, “Dear Basketball,” won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short in 2018. His company, Grandity Studios, created films, television, books, and podcasts.
If you’ve never seen “Dear Basketball,” here it is. In this context, though, it’s difficult to watch.
Just yesterday, Bryant paid tribute to James passing him on the all-time scoring list:
Bryant is survived by his wife and four daughters.