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Breaking: NBA Legend Kobe Bryant Dead in Helicopter Crash

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NBA legend Kobe Bryant was killed Sunday in a helicopter crash in a Southern California helicopter crash, the celebrity web site TMZ reported.

The basketball great was traveling with at least three people aboard a private chopper when it crashed near Calabasas, California, TMZ reported.

Five people were confirmed dead the crash, according to TMZ.

The career-long player for the Los Angeles Lakers was famous for riding in his personal helicopter, commuting to Lakers games at the Staples Center in a Sikorsky -76 helicopter, TMZ reported.

The death was reported by other news outlets Sunday as well, including ABC. While the circumstances surrounding the crash were still murky Sunday afternoon, social media was overflowing with tributes to the basketball great.

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It’s impossible to overstate the impact of a player like Kobe Bryant a team like the Lakers, where he was such a big part of creating a basketball dynasty.

He was the league Most Valuable Player in 2008 and the MVP for two of the five NBA championships he was part of, as TMZ reported.

The Lakers even retired both of his jersey numbers – 8 and 24 – in an honor no other Lakers player has ever earned.

He was 41 years old.

TMZ reported that Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, was not on board the helicopter, but the other passengers were not identified. However, TMZ reported in a follow-up to the original bulletin that Bryant’s daugthter Gianna, 13, was also killed in the crash.

The couple have three other daughters.

UPDATE, Jan. 26 2020: This post was updated to reflect a report that Bryant’s daughter, Gianna, 13, was also killed in the crash. The identity of the other passengers on board the helicopter was unknown.

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.
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