The internet’s heart was broken when it was revealed that legendary NBA player, Kobe Bryant, had died in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning. He was just forty-one-years-old. Nine people are now confirmed dead.
The star was known for being one of the greatest players of all time, with a career with the Lakers spanning 2 decades. Bryant’s daughter, Gianna was also on board the helicopter with her father and has died in the crash.
The son of Kobe’s longtime friend and former teammate, Shaquille O’Neal, has shared his heartbreaking final text exchange hours before Kobe died.
Kobe Bryant has tragically died in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning.
via: Getty Images
The NBA star’s private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, TMZ sports confirms.
Bryant was a true basketball star.
His father, Joe Bryant, was also a professional NBA player, and Kobe began playing basketball professionally straight out of high school.
He was a true legend in the sport.
By his second season, Kobe had been named an All-Star.
When he was just thirty-four years old, Kobe became the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points.
And on February 1st of 2010, it was announced Kobe was the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history.
His achievements didn’t end there.
Kobe also won 2 gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.
He was a massive success off the court, too.
In 2018, Kobe won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for Dear Basketball.
Kobe retired after the 2015-16 season.
But he stayed busy, focusing on many other career pursuits – alongside raising his family.
In 1999, Kobe met Vanessa Laine.
The pair were both just 17-years-old but quickly fell in love – becoming engaged after only six months of dating.
Vanessa and Kobe married in 2001.
Their first daughter was then born in 2003.
Their relationship wasn’t always smooth sailing.
They filed for divorce in 2011, but called off the breakup in 2013.
They shared 4 daughters.
Their eldest was Natalia, who’s 17, followed by Gianna, followed by Bianka, aged 3, and Capri, aged just 7 months.
Kobe was deeply in love with his wife.
And the pair were stronger than ever.
And he loved being a dad.
As this photo of the Bryants in full family Halloween costume proves.Sponsored VideoSponsored by mikebloomberg.comWatch to learn more
Kobe was known for opting to use a helicopter for travel…
via: Getty Images
But tragically, yesterday morning, his private helicopter went down and a “fire broke out,” TMZ reports.Sponsored VideoSponsored by mikebloomberg.comWatch to learn more
During a press conference, it was confirmed there were no survivors.
And there were 9 bodies found at the scene.
Reports have also confirmed that his wife, Vanessa Bryant, was not among those on board.