The retired N.B.A. star, 41, was among the passengers in a helicopter that crashed in Calabasas, Calif.
By The New York Times
RIGHT NOWFormer Lakers star Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash.
The retired Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif.
Bryant was among the passengers traveling onboard the helicopter on Sunday. Five people were confirmed deceased, with no survivors, in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said on Twitter. An investigation is ongoing.
The National Basketball Association sent a confirmation of Bryant’s and Gianna’s deaths to all teams and league employees Sunday afternoon, according to two people familiar with the document.
Drafted to the N.B.A. directly out of high school in 1996, Bryant was named an All-Star in 18 of his 20 seasons for the Lakers and helped lead the team to five championships. His hypercompetitive nature led to occasional public disagreements with coaches and other players, but his commitment to winning was never questioned.
The winner of the N.B.A.’s Most Valuable Player Award in 2007-8, and the Finals M.V.P. in both 2009 and 2010, Bryant showed a rare commitment to success on both ends of the court, with a resume that included two scoring titles — and an 81-point game in 2006 that is the second-highest single-game total in N.B.A. history — along with 12 appearances on the league’s All-Defense team. He also thrived on the international stage, where he won gold medals for U.S.A. Basketball in 2008 and 2012.
In 2016, after various injuries had taken their toll on the longtime superstar, he proved to have one more highlight in him, scoring 60 points in his final game while leading the last-place Lakers to a surprising win over the Utah Jazz.
In retirement, Bryant had expanded his purview, winning an Academy Award in 2018 for his animated short film “Dear Basketball.” He was scheduled to headline the 2020 N.B.A. Hall of Fame nominees.