Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant has died at age 41, along with his daughter Gianna Maria Onore Bryant and a reported seven other individuals. The news was first reported by TMZ Sports and has since been confirmed by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Their deaths were a result of a helicopter crash, which occurred early Sunday morning. Just hours before the crash, LeBron James passed Bryant for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
Los Angeles Lakers Legend Kobe Bryant Dies at 41
Per the Los Angeles Times, the crash occurred due to extremely foggy conditions. The crash caused a subsequent brush fire, though it is unclear of its extent. The brush fire, however, has made it difficult for emergency services and investigators to reach the scene of the incident.
Sources: Kobe Bryant was on his way to a travel basketball game with his daughter Gianna when the helicopter crashed. Those aboard the helicopter also included another player and parent.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 26, 2020
There have been conflicting reports as to who accompanied Bryant on the helicopter. The latest reports are that Bryant’s thirteen-year-old daughter Gianna Maria Onore Bryant was among those killed. She was a rising basketball prospect who played for the Los Angeles Lady Mamba girls basketball team and was heading to one of her travel basketball games.
Bryant played a monumental role as both a player and ambassador for the game of basketball. He is universally considered one of the greatest players of all time. He inspired a legion of fans through his “Mamba Mentality”. His impact cannot be overstated.
Bryant was a five-time NBA champion and spent 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers before retiring in 2016. In his final game, he dropped 60 points in a come-from-behind victory, solidifying his monumental legacy in the ultimate send-off.
From the entire staff at Last Word on Pro Basketball, we issue condolences to Bryant’s family, friends, former teammates, and everyone else impacted during this difficult time. Check back for updates as further details emerge.
Officials have identified three more victims in the incident.
3 more victims involved in the Kobe Bryant helicopter crashed have been identified as John Altobelli, the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College in Southern California, his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa. https://t.co/0vmOHp3j6g
— Breaking News (@BreakingNews) January 27, 2020