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          Kobe Bryant, teenage daughter among nine killed in helicopter crash

          January 27, 2020

          Email

          Chief Daryl Osby of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said nobody survived the crash into a hill in Calabasas, which is approximately 30 miles west of Los Angeles. — Reuters
          Chief Daryl Osby of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said nobody survived the crash into a hill in Calabasas, which is approximately 30 miles west of Los Angeles. — Reuters

          Basketball icon Kobe Bryant died on Sunday in a helicopter crash in Southern California. He was 41.

          TMZ first reported Bryant's death. ABC News in Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Times are among the entities that confirmed the death of the former Los Angeles Lakers superstar.

          TMZ reported that Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, also died in the crash. TMZ cited a family representative as the source.

          Chief Daryl Osby of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said nobody survived the crash into a hill in Calabasas, which is approximately 30 miles west of Los Angeles.

          Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said nine people were on the helicopter — a pilot and eight passengers.

          Villanueva declined to release identities, saying “it would be entirely inappropriate right now” before coroners go through their process.

          Multiple entities reported that Kobe and Gianna were on their way to a basketball tournament in nearby Thousand Oaks.

          The news of Bryant's death sent shockwaves through the sports world and beyond.

          “The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning.

          “He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary: five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals. But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability. He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna.

          “We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Vanessa, and their family, the Lakers organisation and the entire sports world.”

          Former president Barack Obama was among the hundreds of people weighing in on the tragedy.

          “Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act,” Obama said on Twitter.

          On Jan 22, 2006, Bryant scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors. It is the second-highest total in NBA history, behind only Wilt Chamberlain's famed 100-point game in 1962.

          His final game was one for the ages as Bryant scored 60 points during a 101-96 victory over the Utah Jazz on April 13, 2016.

          Bryant also won the 1997 NBA Slam Dunk Contest at age 18, the youngest to win the popular event.

          Both numbers Bryant wore for the Lakers — 8 and 24 — were retired by the club.

          He won Olympic gold medals for the United States in 2008 and 2012 and is among the candidates this year for induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

          Reaction from the basketball world and beyond had a recurring theme — disbelief over the news — and one of those grieving was Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal, a former teammate of Bryant's on the Lakers.

          “There's no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of losing my niece Gigi and my brother @kobebryant I love you and you will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW,” O'Neal tweeted.

          Key moments: #MeToo, dreamers, Trump and Kobe

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