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.
Reports are that basketball great Kobe Bryant and three others have been killed in a helicopter crash in California. That is terrible news!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2020
RIP to the legend @kobebryant
— Mattson (@matt_gloire) January 26, 2020
— Tabbott20 (@tabbott2020) January 26, 2020
It is really difficult to accept death of people who really wrote their name with gold in our hearts,,,
RIP Hero? pic.twitter.com/gvYPkNuZxO
— Ahmed Othman (@pharmacist_nat) January 26, 2020
RIP Kobe Bryant and all those involved in the tragic helicopter crash.
Gone too soon. pic.twitter.com/JXELeUiq3j
— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) January 26, 2020
Rest In Peace, Kobe Bryant
One of the best to ever play the game has reportedly died in a helicopter crash in California
Praying for his family and his four daughters
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) January 26, 2020
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.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.